Churchill County Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth and Families with Promise Program recently received a grant to send three students and one adult to the Leadership Washington Focus conference, a national conference in Washington D.C. that develops leadership skills. Sixth-grader Charlie Lee and eighth-grader Isabella Cardona from Churchill County Middle School; and mentor Taeja Rossback, Churchill County High School senior, will be the first from Nevada to attend the Leadership Washington Program. They will travel to Washington D.C. in June to participate in one of three conferences held this year.
Lee, Cardonna and Rossback earned the opportunity to attend through regular attendance and active participation in the Churchill County 4-H program "Youth and Families with Promise," for youth ages 8 - 14. In collaboration with the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, the program includes regular 4-H meetings for youth to participate in enrichment activities focusing on S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and community service; family nights out, where youth and their families participate together in activities; and mentor-mentee meetings, where the mentors and mentees have fun and strengthen bonds.
"Leadership Washington Focus will give these Churchill County 4-H members and their mentors the opportunity to meet with youth leaders from around the country," LeAnn Davis, 4-H Youth and Families with Promise Program coordinator, said. "Some of them have never really left their home town. This conference provides them with a chance to broaden their horizons and learn about life opportunities available to them."
Participants in the conference will learn leadership skills through motivational speakers, educational workshops, group activities and direct interaction with conference staff. Attendees will also visit important D.C. landmarks and sites.
Leadership Washington Focus is a program for 4-H youth grades seven through nine. It began in 2014 as a precursor to Citizen Washington Focus, a similar program that began over 50 years ago for 4-H youth in high school. Combined, both programs have reached thousands of youth across the country.
These programs are just some of Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development Programs, which teach youth ages 5 to 19 leadership, citizenship and life skills, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Fueled by university-backed curriculum and led by trained staff and dedicated volunteers, 4-H programs engage youth in experiential, or "hands-on," learning. Girls in 4-H are two times more likely to participate in science, engineering or computer technology programs as their peers. In addition, 4-H youth are two times more likely to plan to go to college than their peers. For more information, visit http://www.unce.unr.edu/4H/.