Dakota County's Youth Teaching Youth teachers and Peers for Peers Group was recently recognized by the Association of Minnesota Counties for their contribution and service to the community.

Students in Dakota County wanted to make a difference through mentoring so they created the "Youth Teaching Youth Mentorship Program." In this program, youth shaped the direction of activities, communicated with school staff to better understand their mentees, and provided support to mentees beyond program meetings.

This year, they found that these efforts impacted entire classrooms as more students developed positive relationships - making a difference by helping others to stay engaged in school and also graduate.

Each year, AMC in partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension, awards community leadership awards at the annual AMC Legislative Conference. Each project is recognized based on responding to real community needs and demonstrating broad participation by youth in the design and implementation.

Projects are reviewed by members of the AMC Extension Committee judging panel. Winners are then invited to a luncheon with county commissioners to be recognized with a trophy and check.