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Youth in Action off to a busy start in southern part of St. Louis County

A longtime program for youth on the Iron Range has expanded to welcome students in the southern part St. Louis County.

Youth in Action now has more than 100 students from six schools in Duluth and surrounding communities, including Proctor, Hermantown, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth East, Duluth Marshall and South Ridge.

Youth in Action students hiked to the top of Ely’s Peak as part of a Duluth Experience tour. Submitted.
Already this fall, students have adopted a stretch of road and helped pick up trash in Proctor, helped clear Buckthorn in Quarry Park and cleaned part of the beach on Park Point in partnership with the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation, enjoyed a fun afternoon of hiking Ely’s Peak, and volunteered at the Lake Superior Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo event.

Activities coming up include volunteering at Bentleyville and with the Salvation Army.

Youth in Action students participate in the County’s Adopt a Highway program, cleaning a road in Proctor. Submitted
Youth in Action (formerly Iron Range Youth in Action, or IRYA) is a leadership program for students in grades 9-12. Its mission is to promote positive youth development and public service values by encouraging St. Louis County youth to become better engaged with their communities. Through the program, students partner with area businesses, organizations and elected officials.

The Youth in Action program got its start in Iron Range schools in 1996 with funding from the St. Louis County Board. The program continues to have a strong presence on the Iron Range, with several hundred students participating each year.

Alex Jauhola, a senior at Proctor High School, was among more than 70 Youth in Action students who volunteered at Boo at the Zoo at the Lake Superior Zoo last month. Submitted
“It’s exciting to see how students are embracing the program and the opportunities and making it their own,” said Patty Swedberg, St. Louis Extension Administrator. “It’s an empowering thing for students to realize the good they can do in a community, and so we’re pleased with how quickly we’ve been able to expand and grow the program in this part of the County.”

Youth in Action welcomes high school students to join at any time of the school year. To learn more, visit or call (218) 733-2870 for the Duluth area, or (218) 749-7120 for the Iron Range area.