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Ready to Lead: Preparing Today's Youth to Serve Tomorrow's Communities

For its participants, both lifelong and young, Indiana 4-H positively impacts lives.

The inaugural 4-H Day took place at the Indiana Statehouse on February 1, 2022, with a second group visiting in March. This event provides an opportunity for youth in grades 7-12 to learn about their state government by spending the day immersed in civic engagement and leadership. Attendees from across Indiana received tours of the statehouse, connected with senators and representatives, and served as student pages.

For Katelyn, 4-H Member from Knox County, civic engagement is a major draw of the program. She said, “In my county we run a recruitment program where the junior leaders go out and speak to local elementary schools. It’s a really fun engagement opportunity, because I get to speak to all different demographics. In our county, that ranges anywhere from very rural elementary schools to urban.”

Civic engagement is one of the pillars of the 4-H program, in addition to Healthy Living and STEM and Agriculture. National 4-H Council describes this pillar as a vehicle for creating well-informed citizens who actively engage in their communities and the world.

Representatives in attendance were impressed by the program. Terri Austin, former Indiana House Representative, District 36, explained, “It gives many young people an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, their entrepreneurial skills. But I think what’s also really valuable is it gives them an opportunity to work with other young people from areas of the counties that they might never meet.”

Nora, state 4-H ambassador, hopes opportunities like this will help break stereotypes and inform communities about what 4-H can do for students. She said, “Indiana 4-H has led me to become a much better leader and break outside of my comfort zone. I’ve tried to take every opportunity I can to grow in my leadership skills.

It is important for our students to understand the importance of their engagement at all levels of government because youth are impacted by all legislative decisions from education to taxes.”

ready to lead, 4-H ambassadors
Indiana 4-H ambassadors proudly wear their green jackets with Indiana State Senator Jean Leising and Casey Mull, Purdue Extension assistant director and program leader for 4-H Youth Development.



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