Kentucky 4-H has long focused on equipping youth with the skills they need to be successful leaders of tomorrow. Results of a recent test show that we have had significant success helping young people reach their leadership potential.
Members of the 2012-2013 State 4-H Teen Council were asked to rate themselves on 19 leadership capabilities at the beginning of their council appointment and then again at the end of their term. Six young people from each of the seven extension districts serve on the council. As council members, they help plan the 4-H Teen Conference and help lead the 4-H Summit, a program for middle school 4-H members that promotes leadership and introduces the 4-H’ers to senior 4-H activities.
While these teens were already considered leaders by their respective extension districts, when the pre- and post-tests were compared, the results showed that each 4-H’er improved in all leadership areas as a result of being on the State 4-H Teen Council. The areas with largest improvement were a willingness to take on new challenges, providing guidance to others, knowing their purpose in life and not being afraid of change.
In addition, many of the current council members said 4-H Summit was actually where they developed the desire to be teen council members as they looked to the then-council members as leaders and role models.
More information about State 4-H Teen Council and other 4-H leadership opportunities is available at the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service.
Source: Mark Mains, 4-H youth development specialist