Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council kicks off a second year

Applications are now open to join the 2016 Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council.

2015 Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council members pose for a photo during 4-H Exploration Days.

2015 Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council members pose for a photo during 4-H Exploration Days.

Michigan State University Extension teaches youth development staff and volunteers the importance of youth voice in program planning, implementation and evaluation. Engaging youth at the table in program decision-making has many benefits. First, youth voice assures programs match youth interests. Further, youth can build leadership skills and confidence as they work at the table in partnership with adults.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development has many examples of programs where youth voice is highlighted in program planning and delivery. 4-H Capitol Experience operates under the leadership of a steering committee comprised of youth and adults. Their steering committee plans the program agenda, delegates tasks related to operations and education, and shares responsibilities equally among adults and youth. Many statewide workshops held at Kettunen Center operate under the leadership of a planning committee comprised of former workshop attendees, often both youth and adults. Finally, several animal project areas in Michigan 4-H have committees of youth and adults that guide program offerings. Starting in 2015, Michigan 4-H launched its first State Youth Leadership Council as a means of providing youth voice to overall Michigan 4-H program operations. Eleven youth from across Michigan participated in the Council in its pilot year.

The Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council is intended to bring teen leaders from across Michigan together to serve as a statewide 4-H advisory group, assisting with promotion, outreach and review of curriculum and programs to give authentic youth voice in the Michigan 4-H program. The Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council provides a high-level leadership opportunity for older youth to strive and a venue for 4-H professionals to obtain feedback on new programs, promotional efforts, etc. Further, by participating in the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council, youth have an opportunity to represent Michigan at the National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C. where they bring youth voice to important federal government units and decisions.

Applications are now available for the 2016 Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council. 4-H members aged 15-19 are encouraged to apply at: MI-4H SYLC youth application. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2015.

For more information about the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council, please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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