FARGO, N.D. — Attending the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., helped Samantha Bergrud of Menoken gain confidence in her communication skills.
“It was challenging to effectively communicate with people from across the country and U.S. territories,” says Bergrud. “Adapting in order to work together greatly affected my communication skills.”
Bergrud was one of four North Dakota 4-H’ers who attended the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., March 19-24. The other delegates were Emma Gillespie of Lisbon, Sarah Kempel of Casselton and Samantha Meehl of Oakes.
More than 260 youth attended the conference to explore current issues affecting youth and the role that 4-H can play in addressing those issues. Delegates participated in roundtable groups that researched issues, developed presentations on their findings and then shared the findings with key decision makers at various federal agencies throughout the Washington, D.C., area.
For Gillespie, the most memorable part of the trip was meeting new people and presenting to NASA.
“I never thought I would get to present to such a large organization and have them listen to what youth had to say,” says Gillespie.
Meehl says attending National 4-H Conference helped her find her voice.
“I advanced some of my skills by speaking out, improving my public speaking and working with others,” she adds.
Kempel gained confidence meeting new people.
“I learned how to step outside my comfort zone and introduce myself to new people,” she says. “I gained many new friendships along the way.”
Paige Brummund, a North Dakota State University Extension agent from Ward County, chaperoned the North Dakota delegates.
“The 4-H National Conference provides hands-on experience in civic engagement and leadership,” says Brummund. “The delegates were provided with opportunities to develop skills that will benefit them throughout their life.”
For more information about applying to serve as a 2023 delegate, contact Rachelle Vettern, NDSU Extension leadership and volunteer development specialist, at 701-231-7541 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-H is a program of NDSU Extension.
The North Dakota 4-H Foundation sponsored this educational opportunity.
— NDSU Extension