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Indiana 4-H Ambassadors: Teens leading across Indiana

The Indiana 4-H Ambassador program empowers teen leaders with the knowledge and skills to serve as positive role models for youth, build partnerships with adults and professionals, and advocate for Indiana 4-H in their communities. Ambassadors selected are 4-H members in grades 9-11 who are tasked with representing Indiana 4-H at events and with potential members, parents and the general public.

Meet the 2022-23 Indiana 4-H Ambassadors!


Colleen Donaldson

Home: Lake County

4-H Club: Saddle & Spurs 4-H Club, President

“Because of 4-H, I’ve built my confidence and determination. I used to be the kid who would walk around school with my head down and not make any eye contact when speaking to people. Whenever we had to give presentations, I would talk quietly, almost in a whisper. I didn’t believe in myself. I now participate in 4-H communications contests in my county and at the state and national levels. The 4-H motto is making the best better, and it has done that for me!

The Indiana 4-H Ambassador program has further empowered me to be a leader in my community and Indiana. Our team of ambassadors led the Indiana 4-H Leadership Summit and the 4-H Day at the Statehouse event. These opportunities led me to meet and have great discussions about 4-H with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch.”


Johnathan Durbin

Home: Harrison County

4-H Club: Tic Tac and Sew

“Because of 4-H, I’ve learned how to be a leader. I’ve gained opportunities to interact with other leaders and learn about things I can do to further 4-H in our state. I have learned to not be afraid to dive into new opportunities and that if I need help there is a great team of leaders at Purdue, in my county 4-H program and the other ambassadors I have met along the way that are more than willing to come along side of me and help.”


Branson Jordan

Home: Adams County

4-H Club: Washington Sequoias

“4-H has taught me how to overcome my fear of failure and get outside of my comfort zone. You can learn about animals, wood, pets, gardening, rocks, childcare, bugs and much more. Friendships are created for life, leadership qualities gained, and the knowledge that hard work always wins in the end, are just a few ways 4-H impacts the youth of Indiana!”


Reagan Koester

Home: Posey County

4-H Club: Saint Wendel All-Star Clovers and Vanderburgh County 4-H Junior Leaders

“My favorite 4-H memory is 4-H Round-Up Trip at Purdue University. At the time, I was in eighth grade, and this was one of the first times I truly felt grown up! During this trip, I made countless friends from throughout the state through career-focused classes, icebreakers, games, and a dance. We even got to stay in the Purdue University dorms, which was an amazing experience since I am a huge Purdue fan!

When thinking about what 4-H means to me, one word comes to mind: opportunity. 4-H provides the circumstances for youth to become better leaders, workers, and innovators but most importantly, it develops life skills essential to the creation of better citizens. Indiana 4-H caters to youth of any background and meets the needs of diverse interests. Opportunities such as speech, STEM Projects, trips across the country, and the YES GRANT program, which enables students to become social entrepreneurs giving back to local communities across the state, all allow students to spark their passions and make a difference now and in the future.”


Shelby Lang

Home: Posey County

4-H Club: Kings and Queens 4-H Club

“Through 4-H I have learned that having a good work ethic pays off. When 4-H’ers put effort and time into their projects, they are rewarded. From being an ambassador, I have had the opportunity to promote 4-H on an even bigger scale. This past fall I went with my Purdue Extension – Posey County Indiana 4-H Youth Development educator to talk to elementary schools about 4-H.

Youth learn many life skills through 4-H such as leadership skills, responsibility, time management, public speaking, organization, and teamwork through leading their club, completing their projects, or other 4-H events. Youth can even explore future career interests.”


Roman Peterson

Home: Fayette County

“My hometown is officially New York City, but I spend a lot of time on my family’s farm in Connersville, Indiana. I got involved in 4-H in Indiana because I couldn't find an active chapter for kids my age in Manhattan, New York. I love participating in the cat shows at the Fayette County Fair and being involved in the ambassador program.

4-H is inclusive. It's for boys and girls; it's for farm kids, city kids and kids who have backgrounds that are somewhere in between. 4-H gives young people a place to learn about their world and have fun. I like that it includes so many people and helps kids try so many different things, from animal science to photography to public speaking to baking and sewing and gardening. I like that 4-H can teach you that sometimes projects don't work out, but that's OK as long as you tried and learned something.

My grandfather always said his involvement in 4-H in Indiana forever changed his life for the better. I am really glad to be taking part in a family tradition and learning a lot along the way.”


Phoebe Ranger

Home: Hendricks County

4-H Club: Working Wonders 4-H Club

“Through 4-H, my self-confidence has strengthened. I realized that I do not need nor have to fit in. 4-H welcomes and has a place for everyone. Being a 4-H Ambassador empowers me by showing that my voice counts. I can make an impact at even a young age.  Age is nothing more than a number. It is what you choose to do with your abilities that counts.”


McKinley Underhill

Home: Hamilton County

4-H Club: Llama Trekker Club

“My favorite 4-H memory is sitting around a picnic table on the last day of the fair last year with my friends. We celebrated each other’s accomplishments while sharing stories and elephant ears. It is a simple memory, but it’s my favorite because, without 4-H, I never would have met most of the friends I have now.

I didn’t anticipate the impact I’d have as an Indiana 4-H Ambassador in my community. I’ve spoken at local club meetings to help teach kids about the opportunities in 4-H, planned a district-wide event for younger kids, and taught others about the Indiana 4-H Ambassador program. There is something for everyone in 4-H, many kids never have to enter a show ring or own livestock to be impacted by 4-H.”

Indiana 4-H ambassadors in green jackets at Indiana Statehouse. Front Row: McKinley Underhill, Colleen Donaldson, Phoebe Ranger, and Nora Howat (2021-22 Ambassador) Back Row: Caroline Donaldson (2021-22 Ambassador) Branson Jordan, Jonathan Durbin, Shelby Lang and Reagan Koester. Not Pictured: Roman Peterson. Ambassadors at 2023 Indiana 4-H Day at the Statehouse.

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