Youth in Action "Make a Difference" conference is November 9

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Extension Office • 2503 Rice Lake Road • Duluth, MN 55811 • (218) 733-2870

307 First Street S., Suite 105 • Virginia, MN 55792 • (218) 749-7120

Mary Tennis
Director, St. Louis County Depot and Extension Services




November 7, 2023

CONTACT: Mary Tennis

Director, St. Louis County Depot and Extension Services

(218) 725-5230


Youth in Action "Make a Difference" conference is November 9

The annual conference featuring workshops presented by students for students will be happening at the DECC in Duluth this Thursday. The Youth in Action "Make a Difference" conference is November 9, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Approximately 300 students in grades 7-12 from 17 schools throughout the county are expected to attend this day of inspiration and sharing. The theme for the 29th annual conference is Green: Keep Growing.


The Make a Difference Conference is presented by the St. Louis County Youth in Action Program with funding from the St. Louis County Board, Lake Superior College and numerous local organizations, businesses and communities.


Keynote speaker is Emily Ford, an aspiring winter backpacker and thru-hiker based in Duluth. Ford was the first woman to thru-hike Wisconsin's 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail in winter and has skied across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with Diggins, her sled dog. She is passionate about representing the underrepresented in the outdoors, hoping for a continued effort to help marginalized people experience the outdoors in a safe and healthy way.


Additionally, Youth in Action members have put together eight workshops to present at the conference. Breakout session topics and the schools that the presenting students attend include: 

  • Sustainable Living - What you eat and how you sleep (Duluth East)
  • Benthic Macroinvertebrates: Aquatic Creepy Crawlies (Harbor City)
  • Room of Requirement (Hibbing)
  • Duluth Invaders (Marshall)
  • Fears and Phobias (Mesabi East)
  • Zumba (Northeast Range)
  • Fashion Recycled (North Woods)
  • Reducing Consumer Waste (South Ridge)

The mission of the annual Make a Difference Conference is to educate and inspire young people with the help of partners so they can make a difference in their communities through leadership, advocacy, and service; and to recruit, grow, and promote the Youth in Action program.


The conference is free for students to attend thanks to support from sponsors. In addition to St. Louis County and Lake Superior College, additional support comes from the Tower Fireman's Relief Association; Minnesota Power; the cities of Chisholm, Leonidas and Virginia; Eveleth Elks Lodge 1161; Ever-Green Energy, Inc.; Hibbing Taconite Company; Miner's Inc./Super One Foods, Parson's Electric; Twin Metals MN; and Whole Foods Co-op.


To learn more about Youth in Action or the Make a Difference conference, visit