BOONE COUNTY – Boone County youth are joining the more than six million 4-H members across the nation in celebration of National 4-H Week Oct. 4 through Oct. 10.

Last year, 403 young people in Boone County were involved in 4-H community clubs where, assisted by volunteer adult leaders, they learned about careers, leadership and citizenship. Another 1921 youth were involved in 4-H through school, after school and community-partner organizations.

“4-H’s learn by doing philosophy encourages youth to experiment, innovate, and think independently, said Melissa Irwin, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Program Coordinator for Boone County. “4-H grows confident kids who tackle issues that matter most in their communities.”

4-H members determine their own path in 4-H.

“Youth have a strong voice in 4-H clubs and are actively determining the programs and activities in their clubs,” Dr. Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of the Illinois 4-H program said.

“4-H gives youth skills to be independent masters of their future by giving them real-life experiences in teaching others, providing youth voice on planning committees, advocating for positive change in their communities and gaining much-needed skills for the workplace.”

Illinois 4-H members prepare for their future by studying careers related to their 4-H project.

“They choose from more than 100 projects to study,” Melissa Irwin said. The topics range from rocketry, GPS, child care, and public speaking to photography, animal science, nutrition, and more.

“The project work builds a youth’s leadership, communication, organization, and decision-making skills,” Melissa Irwin said.

“4-H also instills a generous spirit in youth,” Diaz said. 4-H members are encouraged to help others in their communities through the hundreds of service projects conducted by Illinois 4-H clubs.

One out of every seven adults in the U.S. is a former 4-H member.

Boone County residents only need to look at our local 4-H members to see how 4-H impacts local lives.

Boone County native, Brianna Brockmann, an 18-year-old from Belvidere said, “My 4-H experiences taught me that hard work and perseverance are the key to many goals. 4-H has given me the confidence to express my views and the knowledge that I am capable of many things such leadership and citizenship. I will never forget the good times I had and new friends I made. I will take the life skills I have learned to be successful in living a productive life.”

Daria Cleland is a six-year-member of the LeRoy Commandoes 4-H Club.

“In the beginning of my 4-H career, I was a little shy and inexperienced,” Cleland said. “But now that I have grown in many ways, I want to help others in my club and community by sharing my knowledge and experiences with them. I know all these life skills will come in handy in the future.”

Brock Irwin is an eight-year-member of the Udder 4-H club.

“I have learned so much about community service, leadership, and have gained knowledge in several project areas,” Brock Irwin said. “Most importantly, I have had a blast while doing it!”

First year 4-H member Morgan Klick is excited about the new 4-H year.

“Being a new member to the 4-H program I learned so much in such a short amount of time. I look forward to continuing to grow as a 4-H’er.” Klick said. “I cannot wait to see what fun activities and projects we will work on in the upcoming year. I am so glad I joined 4-H.”

One may learn more about joining 4-H by contacting University of Illinois Extension in Boone County at (815) 544-3710 or emailing Melissa Irwin at [email protected]

About 4-H

Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.

For Further Information Contact

Source: Dr. Lisa Diaz, Assistant Dean and Director 4-H Youth Development: (217) 333-0910.

News Writer: Judy Mae Bingman, Extension Media Communications Specialist, (217) 300-2113.

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