Published: May 29, 2015

A delegation of high school students from Belarus spent Monday on the University of Colorado campus learning leadership skills to help them start community gardens at their schools and in their communities.

In their home Eastern European country, the concept of volunteering is relatively new, explained Holly Nichols, with World Link Inc. -- a nonprofit that conducts exchange programs for educators and youth through government-sponsored projects.

"This generation wants to see volunteering in action," she said. "They want it for their country."

Prior to their field trip to the Boulder campus, the 13 students from Belarus -- who are in the United States on U.S. State Department scholarships -- visited community gardens in Chicago and Denver.

On Monday, they spent the day on the Boulder campus where undergraduates from CU's Public Achievement program trained them on how to launch and see volunteer projects through. Among the workshops was an afternoon one on how to handle challenges -- including what to do, if in their sustainability projects, they face resistance from nearby factories that are polluting the area. They also learned skills for convincing school leaders that community gardens can be used to teach real-life biology lessons.

The idea is that the student delegates will take their leadership training home and inspire others in their home country to follow their lead.

From the Daily Camera