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Iron Range Students Making a Difference

Updated: 02/10/2014 6:18 PM
Created: 02/10/2014 5:50 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

When it comes to a room full of teenagers, you'd think a hypnotist would be the biggest hit.

He did get quite the reaction, but the 450 kids from Iron Range schools are aspiring leaders with big dreams.

"If you want something to happen it can happen by getting a group together and being vocal about it and really working for it," said Jenna Kingsley.

Kingsley is a senior from Virginia and this year she helped plan the whole conference. The students plan and present the entire event from start to finish.

"That's the big thing for us, making sure these kids learn something, that they take away something," said Tyler Erickson, a youth program coordinator with St. Louis County. "It's much more powerful when the kids teach the kids."

All of the sessions are educational but they don't necessary have to do with school. 'Rethink your Drink' is trying to persuade kids to drink more water by showing how much sugar is in other drinks. A bag of sugar showed the 16 teaspoons that are in a bottle of Mountain Dew.

One of the presenters is Tanner Bina, a junior from Ely.

"My presentation is the 'Game of Real Life'," explained Bina.

During his session, students got $3,000 in fake cash, which represented a monthly budget.

They then had to go around the room, paying their monthly expenses.

"We go through housing, transportation, college loans, and even how much it would cost to raise a child," said Bina.

It was a sort of reality check for many of the kids. Other sessions taught the kids how to avoid stress, how to prevent bullying, how to succeed in college, and how to work with different personalities.

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