LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. — Nearly 200 Pennsylvania 4-H youth gathered via Zoom to network and enhance their leadership skills during the 2021 Pennsylvania 4-H State Leadership Conference and found that even virtual conferences can be engaging and fun! Lehigh County 4-H members Kamryn Fink of Germansville, Lillian Gallagher of Zionsville, and Alivia Remick of Quakertown attended this program.
County 4-H members from across the state participated in workshops designed and delivered by 4-H specialists, alumni, Penn State faculty and staff, and leaders in industry. The workshops included topics that encouraged youth to build their skills in building trust, motivating others, confidence, and preparing for an interview. The 4-H youth who attend the conference are current and future leaders in their communities, schools, and 4-H pursuits.
“This year’s conference was one that will be remembered for a long time,” said Jeanette Stackhouse, Pennsylvania 4-H Teen Program Manager and co-director of the event. “We had a great turnout of teens still wanting to connect and build their leadership skills, and they were very engaged with the workshops. One of the exciting elements of a virtual conference is that we had guests from nine other states attend and learn with us. That likely could not have happened under normal circumstances.”
Jonah, a participant from Pennsylvania, agreed. “Just because you are apart does not mean you can’t be together”.
In addition to the traditional workshops about leadership skills, participants also took part in a virtual escape room to develop their teamwork and problem-solving skills.
Teen participant, Julie, stated, “[It was an] awesome time meeting many new people”. Sarah, a guest from Kansas 4-H, indicated learning some new ideas to be able to share with the local 4-H program.
Thirteen 4-H members were recognized for attaining the highest achievement possible in the Pennsylvania 4-H program, the Diamond Clover Award. The Clover Award Program encourages 4-H members to explore new projects and activities that will help them acquire the seven Leadership Life Skills: Communicating, Decision Making and Problem Solving, Getting Along with Others, Learning to Learn, Managing, Understanding Self, and Working in Groups. Engagement with the Clover Award Program is generally a multi-year process.
The youth who were honored include:
Cara Arnoldi – Bucks County
Kendyl Cersoli – Tioga County
Hannah Gaibor – Somerset County
Kelly Gillis – Westmoreland County
Lexie Kalaluhi – Westmoreland County
Emma Martz – Somerset County
Cali Moore – Lycoming County
Anna Norton – Centre County
Lily Palfrey – Indiana County
Katie Percival – Lycoming County
Rachael Percival – Lycoming County
Stefani Strouse – Schuylkill County
Emma Wassel – Montgomery County
At the close of the conference, the new Pennsylvania 4-H State Council Team was announced. The Council is a premier group of young people selected from the Commonwealth to be the official spokespeople for the Pennsylvania 4-H program. The new officers include: Olivia Jumper – Westmoreland County, President; Norah Carter, Allegheny County, Vice President of Operations; Isabel Poorbaugh, Fayette County, Vice President of Events; Abigail Hawk, Franklin County, Vice President of Internal Affairs; Claire Cohick, Cumberland County, Secretary; Maria Sipe, Fayette County, Sentinel; Tayler Garges, Montgomery County, Reporter & Historian.
Administered through Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H is found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. County 4-H educators work with volunteers to deliver non-formal education opportunities to youth ages 5-18. To find your local program, visit the Penn State Extension website athttps://extension.psu.edu/
–Penn State Extension