Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council announced for 2015

Michigan youth serve in important leadership role as members of the new Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development is excited to announce the launch of its inaugural 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC). As an organization that emphasizes and celebrates youth leadership, Michigan 4-H teen leaders will be an essential voice in the visioning and direction of Michigan’s largest youth serving organization.

4-H is the youth development arm of the nation’s extension system which aims to bring cutting edge, university research to local communities across the country though land-grant universities. This notable advancement in the State 4-H Council leadership structure aims to align Michigan’s practices with what is evident in research: youth are positively impacted by being active citizens and engaging in their own development.

The first contingent of Michigan 4-H SYLC members hail from all over Michigan, range in ages from 15-19 years old and range in years of experience from four to 10 years in 4-H.

  • Shay M. Hill, Otisville, Genesee County
  • Erin Kramer, Granger, Cass County
  • Katelyn Stevens, Ravenna, Muskegon County
  • Loren G. King, Burr Oak, St. Joseph County
  • Sarah Conery, Champion, Marquette County
  • Erin Washburn, Coldwater, Branch County
  • Kaylee Herrygers, Hart, Oceana County
  • Emily Harke, Adrian, Lenawee County
  • Emily Kittendorf, Milan, Monroe County
  • Haley Lemle, North Adams, Hillsdale County
  • Davis Fettes, Union City, Branch County
  • Piper Ann Pantalone, Bloomfield Hills, Oakland County

These youth are tasked with providing youth voice on 4-H initiatives, advocating for 4-H and recruiting new youth to participate in 4-H. The youth are participating in monthly conference calls, training and working to build an annual calendar for the group.

At a recent meeting, members developed elevator speeches to answer the question, “Why should I join 4-H?” The youth’s responses, taken from their own experiences, provided powerful insight to the difference 4-H programs have made in their lives. Youth reflected:

  • “I am involved in 4-H because it gave me connections in both my local program, but also in the state, that has helped me to determine which college I want to attend and the path I want to take for the rest of my life.”
  • “4-H allows me to act in the adult world as I work in teams of people with the same goal while leading others.”
  • “4-H has made me more responsible and outgoing, and I have volunteered to help in my community with my club and on my own.
  • “Through 4-H you are able to develop vital life skills that will serve you in the future. 4-H allows you to branch out in your own way. 4-H has developed me from a shy child, to a much more mature adult.”

SYLC members plan to attend 4-H events around the state in order to broaden their understanding of breadth and variety of Michigan 4-H programs happening locally. To request a SYLC member at an upcoming event, please contact Michigan State University Extension’s Jackie Martin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Applications for the 2016 Michigan 4-H SYLC will be available this fall.

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