Palm Beach teen named to national 4-H board

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Caleb Cheng, an 18-year-old 4-H member from Palm Beach County, has been selected to serve on the National 4-H Board of Trustees, which governs the National 4-H Council, a panel that supports national and state 4-H programs with a focus on fundraising, brand management, communications and legal and fiduciary services.

The teenager is going to Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, for his official three-year appointment to the board.

“I am extremely excited to serve on the National 4-H Council’s Board of Trustees,” Caleb said in an email. “Service is undoubtedly a characteristic I hold dear and view with utmost importance in making the best better in the world around me.”

For 14 years, Caleb has demonstrated his passion for 4-H, from leadership positions to community service projects and service at the national level.

On the state level, he secured two corporate sponsorships that, along with strategic planning, helped raise about $7,000 for Florida 4-H, providing what he called “needed fiscal security for a thriving organization.”

He’s not just good at raising money; he’s adept at event planning. Caleb used social media as a tool to work with leaders and youth from 4-H to plan 4-H Congress and Legislature.

“Experience with social media along with a sound understanding of 4-H as a network can be a huge benefactor for the advancement of 4-H in modern society,” he said.

Caleb, a senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach, also considers himself well-versed in home, private, and public education, as he has experienced all three.

“I have a vision for 4-H on a much larger scale than it is today, and I believe it is quite attainable with a few simple solutions involving the promotion of 4-H in schools,” he said.

Caleb participated in a three-round application process against candidates from across the country, said Jon Mayer, a UF/IFAS Extension 4-H agent in Palm Beach County. From this, four finalists were appointed to youth trustee positions, and Caleb traveled to the national 4-H headquarters for the final application round.

“While all of his accomplishments in 4-H make Caleb an excellent candidate for this opportunity, what I believe makes him an ideal choice is simple but vastly important,” Mayer said. “Caleb Cheng is one of the most confident, respectful, responsible and level-headed young adults I have met.”

National 4-H Council is governed by a Board of Trustees, made up of The Public Class, corporate executives and other private citizens from an array of backgrounds; The State Cooperative Extension & Land-grant Institution Class, representatives from 4-H, Extension, and land-grant universities, and The Youth Class, recent 4-H Alumni.

In addition to fundraising and brand management, the National 4-H Council also oversees the National 4-H Youth Conference Center and the National 4-H Supply Service, the authorized agent for items bearing the 4-H name and emblem.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, commended Caleb on his appointment.

“It is wonderful to see that Caleb’s experience, hard work and dedication to 4-H has given him the opportunity to serve in such a prestigious leadership role, representing our state and country,” Payne said.

Mayer lauded 4-H volunteers such as Helen Adler, for helping Caleb’s development.

Adler, a 4-H volunteer in Palm Beach County for 52 years, has known Caleb since he was a young boy.

“I’ve seen him grow up from being a shy one,” Adler said. “He’s fabulous; he’s very kind, conscientious. You could always depend on him. He’s all 4-H.”

Adler said Caleb will have no problem working with adults on the 4-H national board.

“He knows how to communicate,” she said.

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By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu (contact Brad Buck if you need to find Caleb Cheng)

Sources: Caleb Cheng

Jon Mayer, 561-233-1791, jmayer@pbcgov.org

Jack Payne, 352-392-1971, jackpayne@ufl.edu