What Can 4-H Leadership Programs Do For You(th)?
It’s no secret that our older 4-H youth are busy. Between schoolwork, 4-H, part time jobs, helping out at home, and the general stress of being in high school, they have a lot on their plates. So why take the time to join EVEN MORE activities? Sure these activities say “leadership” in the name, but what does that mean?
- 4-H focuses on life skill development. If a program promises to emphasize leadership, there are specific skills we are going to hone in on including responsibility, teamwork, goal setting, organization, and communication. Learning and exercising those skills creates positive impacts in high school and beyond!
- 4-H teaches skills that can help youth get jobs. On the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ list of skills employers look for when hiring new employees, many overlap with the 4-H life skills listed above. Take a look for yourself. Teamwork, communication, problem-solving, organizational ability, and LEADERSHIP are all included. Developing these skills now enables our teens to be more competitive when completing college and job applications.
- Youth are going to have new experiences. Public speaking, running meetings, planning events, and even going on cool trips (to other counties, UF, Camp Cherry Lake, etc.) are all part of the package for leadership programming. These experiences allow youth to try something new and different from their everyday lives.
- Youth are going to meet new people, make new friends, and create important connections. Whether it’s joining County Council to meet other officers, or attending 4-H University to meet youth from all over the state, teens are going to make friendships that can last a lifetime. Youth also have the chance to build their professional network as they interact with county officials, university faculty, and many others.
- If learning new skills and meeting new people doesn’t interest you, how about just having fun? 4-H is a hands-on, interactive program and every event we are going to build in time for youth to enjoy themselves. Games, activities, field trips, and refreshments (everyone loves snacks!) are just a few of the ways teens can relax and enjoy themselves in 4-H.
Still not convinced? Let’s ask the youth currently involved!
“4-H has shown me how I can become a leader and helps refine my leadership ability to help me boost my self esteem in speaking and leading discussions as well as helping organize and run events that are essential skills for future jobs and college. 4-H has prepared me for my future adult life by teaching me these INVALUABLE skills, while having fun, making memories and meeting new friends.”
“4-H leadership has not only made me a better leader, it has given me life skills I don’t know if I would’ve learned otherwise. County Council and holding officer positions taught me responsibility, time management, and delegation. At 4-H U, I gained a better understanding of how to inspire and lead my club members in community service.”
“When I first joined the 4-H program I was very shy. I didn’t want to do public speaking or get up in front of big crowds or really even be involved with other youth. 4-H has impacted my life in so many ways. …it got me out of my shell and I interact with youth and make friends so much easier. Holding an officer position in County Council has taught me responsibility, leadership, and…how to have integrity. Attending officer trainings has helped me better as our 4-H club president.”