Back to All Events

Solutions for Rural Development Webinar Series- Straight from the Source: Solutions and Barriers to Engaging the Youth

The  Arizona Rural Development Council  (AZRDC) and  Local First Arizona Foundation  offer a monthly webinar series,  Solutions for Rural Development,  stemming from discussions at the annual  Rural Policy Forum .   This  free  webinar rotates topics that address various issues and solutions surrounding the development process specifically to rural areas.

The Arizona Rural Development Council (AZRDC) and Local First Arizona Foundation offer a monthly webinar series, Solutions for Rural Development, stemming from discussions at the annual Rural Policy Forum. This free webinar rotates topics that address various issues and solutions surrounding the development process specifically to rural areas.


Rural communities face unique and evolving challenges that, unless confronted, can be detrimental to the entire spectrum of opportunity for its residents. Specifically, when it comes to youth retention, rural communities are struggling with two major problems: 1. engaging youth with enticing opportunities and 2. retaining them post-secondary education. In this webinar, we will hear from a spectrum of panelists offering a high school, college, and young adult perspective. We will also hear from an active youth organizer who has several years of experience in working with younger populations. 

Attendees of this webinar will learn: 

  • Ideas to actively engage youth to participate in local events
  • How to better establish communication between youth mentors and the youth
  • What resources and tools are needed to better support young adults in rural communities


WHEN: April 25th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Online

Register for Webinar Below

About our Speakers:

Dylan Hetero: Dylan is a current resident of Bisbee Arizona and previously spent the early part of his life in Phoenix Metro area and the suburbs of Seattle, WA. He is a huge music fanatic and plays several instruments, notably Bass guitar. Dylan loves nature and spends a large amount of his time hiking outdoors. He was raised with the influence of the counter-culture of the 1960's and it reflects upon his personality.

Jesalen Luna:  Jesalen is 17 years old and is very proud to have been born and raised in Douglas. She is in the 12th grade and enrolled in an online/virtual school. Jesalen was homeschooled since first grade and in an online school since 4th grade. For the past 6 years, she has been heavily involved in volunteer work and enjoys giving back to the community. Her extracurricular activities consist of painting, drawing, volunteering, and running. Her goals after graduation are to attend Cochise College for two years and hopefully become a Police Officer or Customs Agent. 

Jill Navran: Jill is the Program Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff and has been with the agency since July 2012, after graduating from University of Denver with her Master’s Degree in Social Work and Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy. Jill received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Northern Arizona University in 2011. Additionally, she has worked as a School Social Worker with Aurora Public Schools in Colorado and periodically teaches online courses for NAU’s Social Work Department. Jill is passionate about serving the high-risk youth demographic.

Earlier Event: April 13
Timeless Phoenix
Later Event: May 8
Arizona Food & Farm Forum