Oakland 4-H’er attends conference to learn leadership skills

Published 12:48 pm Saturday, July 13, 2013

Freeborn County 4-H’er Katie Maxa, from the Oakland 4-H Club, learned how to be heard at 4-H YELLO! along with 300 other youth leaders from Minnesota 4-H.

More than 300 youth learned to lead at 2013 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out loud! conference.

On June 10-13, more than 300 youth from across Minnesota gathered at the 4-H Building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to participate in the annual 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out loud!, or YELLO!, youth leadership conference. The four-day event was filled with exciting activities that help youth learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will use throughout their lives.

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Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H YELLO! leadership conference is developed and led by 4-H State Ambassadors, Minnesota youth who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H, and to educate youth and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, teamwork and other invaluable life skills. This year’s 4-H YELLO! conference theme was “Be Heard.” 4-H youth spent several days in activities designed to explore how they can become leaders in their communities and be heard and have an impact on the issues they believe are important in their lives. They also spent a day participating in service learning projects at several locations in the Twin Cities, including Women’s Advocates, Inc., Feed My Starving Children, The Arc and Crisis Nursery.

“YELLO was amazing. I learned a lot of new things, all while having tons of fun and making many new friends. From using reverse engineering to mangle a toaster oven for its bell as a part of my small group’s uniqueness, everyone made memories. This all made YELLO! one of my favorite events of the year,” Maxa said.

One of 4-H’s priorities is to provide citizenship and leadership experiences that guide youth in building relationships, developing communication techniques and strengthening organizational skills.

“Through these experiences, youth find the leaders within themselves and are able to make a positive impact in their club, home, school or community,” said Jacquie Lonning, Extension 4-H Citizenship state program manager.

To learn more about 4-H in Freeborn County, contact 4-H Program Coordinators Amy Wadding or Megan Thorson at 507-377-5660 and visit the website, www.4-H.umn.edu.