- 11/23 The place that built me...The 4-H Building has watched Jillian Bell grow her skills, relationships, and career. Today a professional photographer in the Twin Cities and a 4-H volunteer, Jillian can name pivotal moments in her life that happened in that special building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.Back in Polk County where Jillian got her start in 4-H, she was her county and club president, dedicated a lot of time volunteering and took in as many 4-H opportunities as possible. Her hard work and love for 4-H led her to attend a statewide leadership conference, YLE, held in the 4-H Building.Among the many good friends she made in 4-H was Luther at 4-H's annual youth leadership conference (now known as YELLO!), an annual statewide youth leadership conference. Mutual good friends, also in 4-H, were first to recognize that they were perfect for each other and today they are married. Jillian credits 4-H with getting them together, and with showing her many other 4-H opportunities.One of them was performing arts. She joined the State Arts-In program, and later, the State Arts-In Media Team, where she learned how to communicate well with her teammates and the public, too. Publicizing the Arts-in show was her main job. Later, she worked on the technical crew, learning how to use a hammer, nails and boards after receiving them and an order to "build the stage.""Without this building, without these programs, I wouldn't have the friends - nor the husband - I do today."With these many skills under her belt, Jillian became a statewide youth leader, joining the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors in 2000-2001. What she gained was not about herself, but about helping others. "I feel like the program (State Ambassador) gave me the 'want' needed to be a good samaritan."When Minnesota 4-H formed a Photography Project Development Committee last year, Jillian was quick to volunteer. Alongside working with Tamron Camera Lens Company, this is one more way she can get out and educate others about photography technique and etiquette. Luther calls her a "mobile photography educator."This year she and Luther are back in the 4-H Building as dorm staffers, helping younger 4-H'ers to have the same valuable experience that they had, starting 20 years ago.Written by Madison MuirUniversity of Minnesota studentKittson County 4-H AlumRead more.
- 11/16 From ambassador to leading the ambassadors, Meet Kristina!
Kristina Abbas, Ramsey County.It all started with simple pie social in her neighborhood for Kristina Abbas of Ramsey county. That was her first introduction to 4-H. “The older leaders took time to get to know me.” She was drawn in by the fact that youth were running the meetings. From there, Kristina got involved in many different projects. Her favorites were photography and self determined. She also has fond memories of being in County Arts In and a Camp Counselor.A defining moment in her 4-H career was when she made the transition from being an officer in her club, to a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. As an ambassador Kristina was able to work at the Minnesota State Fair 4-H building, facilitate youth conferences across the state, and be an advocate for the Minnesota 4-H program. She says this gave her the opportunity to “express [her] love for 4-H and better communicate with people.”
After being a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador for two years she looked for other ways to stay involved in the program. She began interning with the program and helping the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador Coordinator. From there she stepped into a larger role helping to lead the 2017-2018 Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador team. She says that through this role she continues to learn more about herself, now as a 4-H alum.
Kristina and Ambassador at the Minnesota State Fair.“Seeing youth grow in the program the way I have is so rewarding. Really I'm just here to teach them how to find their voice and lead other youth.
Written by Janelle HuenersUniversity of Minnesota StudentChisago County 4-H AlumRead more.
- 11/9 4-H builds inclusion and passion!Finn B.E. is a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador from Kittson County. He credits 4-H with growing strong relationships with his peers, while allowing him to be his true self.Finn B.E.: It's been life-changing. I've bonded with each state ambassador in an individual way, no matter how close we are as a group. I count some of them as my best friends. To me, being a state ambassador means that I have the chance to impact the lives of countless youth, including myself. Creating an experience that can change attitudes, giving a face to the faceless, and working on making my personal best better is what I strive to do as a state ambassador.
While I am a state ambassador, I can be my own individual self and still be a part of something that is much bigger. I can show that 4-H is more than the livestock, the ribbons, the arts, the projects. It is the tangible connections that you make with the people around you and the love that you add to a world otherwise lonely. As a state ambassador, I can not only advocate for this, but I can be this. I can be the tangible connection between diverse communities and the love that gives life to so many ideas and issues.
- 11/1 Volunteering is a gift we give ourselves
Monthly column from Minnesota 4-H director Dorothy McCargo Freeman
As 4-H volunteers, we often tell others about the many ways the program is good for youth. In fact, I regularly hear from volunteers that "4-H is the best place to grow up." I entirely agree.
But it's not just our youth who are positively impacted, is it? Take a step back and look at how your own life has been enhanced by the 4-H experience.
Volunteering shapes who we are.
For many of us, our identity is both rooted and grows out of how and where we volunteer. Think of the pride you have from working with and alongside young people. Whether weekly, monthly or during a particular event season, volunteering with 4-H gives you a deep sense of satisfaction. You know your work is making a difference. When you volunteer, you are expressing your beliefs in young people.
Laura Corgard is a long time volunteer in Blue Earth County. She grew up in 4-H and raised her children in the program as well. Because of 4-H, every member of her family has learned the value of community service. "It's important to give back and make a difference," said Laura. "When I volunteer with 4-H, that's what I'm doing."
- 10/26 Meet 4-H staffer Jalil ShabazzFeedback
Jalil is a 4-H alum and leader for Teen Power 4-H Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. He first got involved with 4-H by getting homework help after school in his apartment building. That support from caring adults sparked something in him. Jalil wanted to do more in 4-H.This year, Jalil led 4-H's STEM team at theMinnesota State FairIn 2006, Jalil and a few friends and mentors started the Teen Power 4-H Club. The club focuses on building confidence and self-expression through fine arts. Jalil wrote and produced music for his club, which they showcased in venues like Garage and First Avenue."One of the most memorable experiences as a 4-H'er was performing at The Garage. Everyone was super excited and going crazy after we performed. It was an amazing feeling knowing that we created that atmosphere."
Minnesota 4-H in the media
- A turkey tale, from 4-H to DC | University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- 4-H Club of the Year announced at annual Kiwanis banquet | Republican Eagle
- Osakis 4-H'er judges Arabians in Oklahoma | Echo Press
- A turkey trot to the White House | Echo Press
- West Otter Tail 4-H Junior Leaders hosts ‘Back to the Future’ workshop | The Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Center for Youth Development in the media
- Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge: Infusing Agricultural Science and Engineering Concepts into 4-H Youth Development | Rice, J, Rugg, B, Davis, S | Journal of Extension
- Focus on Methodology: Beyond paper and pencil: Conducting computer-assisted data collection with adolescents in group settings
- Dilemmas in Youth Work and Youth Development Practice - Laurie Ross, Shane Capra, Lindsay Carpenter, Julia Hubbell, Kathrin Walker - Google Books
- Citizen Science as a REAL Environment for Authentic Scientific Inquiry | Nathan Meyer, Siri Scott, Pamela Nippolt, et al |
- A Call to Embrace Program Innovation | Nathan Meyer, Sherry Boyce, Rebecca Meyer | Journal of Extension
- 11/1 Volunteering is a gift we give ourselves