ATHENS, Ga. — High school Georgia 4-H members participated in the Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference (SRTLC) in late September with youth from surrounding Southern states. The annual event gives attending youth and adults opportunities to develop leadership skills and practice networking skills with 4-H’ers in other states.
This year’s leadership conference was held virtually to abide with COVID-19 restrictions, with workshops, networking events, virtual campfires and dances, leadership lessons, and informative roundtable discussions held over video conference. Along with the 98 Georgia 4-H’ers who participated, nearly 500 4-H’ers from other Southern states took part.
In addition to scheduled workshops and trainings, 4-H’ers donated school supplies to their local county schools as a part of the event-sponsored service project. Information about donated materials was captured through a survey that participants completed with pictures of donated school supplies. Georgia 4-H’ers contributed generously and, with the help of fellow 4-H’ers from across the region, thousands of items were donated to schools in need.
“The conference is an outstanding opportunity to help youth develop leadership and citizenship skills and to help them find opportunities to put those skills to use in their communities,” said Jason Estep, 4-H leadership and civic engagement specialist. “Plus, it is one of the best ways to meet 4-H’ers from other states and learn about their programs.”
Youth who attend SRTLC are empowered and inspired to make positive changes across the Southern region through leadership development, networking opportunities and collaborative partnerships. Youth and adult participants present educational workshops and roundtables on topics ranging from dancing for exercise to driver safety, from leadership styles to 3-D printing, and more.
Next year’s conference is scheduled for September 23-26, 2021, at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center in Crossville, Tennessee.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or find your local UGA Extension office by visiting extension.uga.edu/county-offices.html.
–Austin Clark, Georgia 4-H