Challenge and Change

Challenge and Change is a leadership program for young women in rural communities, offered through the Rural Youth Development program of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The program teaches middle and high school girls:

  • to design and lead take action projects that create positive change in their own community
  • real-world experiences that build skills of leadership
  • problem-solving
  • social entrepreneurship

Community Take Action Projects

  • Brookfield, MO
    Brookfield girls identified health and safety as their major concerns within the community. The girls are rebuilding their old school playground, including the creation of a fitness track and program. They hope to create a safer environment for physical activity and to encourage their peers to become more active.  In addition, the girls are creating a victory garden at their school. The garden will supplement a fresh fruits and vegetables program at the three schools and will be used to instruct students on the value of healthy eating. Each grade level will also have the opportunity to use the garden as a learning facility, looking at ways plants and animals impact our environment.

  • St. Clair, MO
    The girls in St. Clair are focusing on community involvement, social cohesiveness, and artistic programming in their town. They are building an outdoor amphitheatre in a local park, and starting a community arts program.  The amphitheatre will be available for community use and will host events such as concerts, plays, art shows, and other gatherings.

For more information, please contact Michelle Johnson at 314.592.2344 or