4-H Issues Conference gives youth a voice
Source: Chuck Stamper, extension special projects coordinator
4-H strives to give youth the skills they need to be adults who are actively engaged in their communities. Since 1989, Kentucky 4-H has given its senior members an opportunity to attend the four-day statewide Issues Conference to learn how to identify and address local issues while developing their leadership and citizenship skills.
This year’s 4-H Issues Conference is Nov. 15-18 at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center in Jabez. Conference delegates are high school-age youths with demonstrated leadership ability or potential, other organizational involvement, excellent communication skills, issue awareness and commitment to action.
Delegates identify and research a local issue affecting young people before coming to the conference. At the conference, 4-Hers have the opportunity to present their issue and ideas for a solution. They also have a chance to collaborate with others from around the state to work toward a solution. Adult facilitators help lead the group to develop a presentation on their issue aimed at a community board. At the end of the conference, teams have the opportunity to apply for a mini-grant to address their issue.
The conference is designed to teach delegates about citizenship and civic engagement. They gain an understanding of local issues and the process of addressing those issues. In the process, they enhance their public presentation skills and their leadership skills. Those who want to return for a more advanced session can return as a delegate to Issues Conference Level Two.
For more information on the 4-H Issues Conference or other 4-H leadership and citizenship opportunities, contact your Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service