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4-H programs offer leadership, citizenship opportunities

Two exciting summer citizenship and leadership opportunities await members of 4-H Clubs in Pike County and nationwide.

Emily Rolling, Pike County Extension Coordinator, said now is the time for 4-H’ers and their parents to consider taking advantage of these lifetime opportunities.

“Citizenship Washington Focus and National 4-H Conference are both outstanding programs that are among the top citizenship and leadership conferences for high school students,” Rolling said. “Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is a week-long citizenship program for youth ages 14-18. National 4-H Conference is the United States Department of Agriculture’s premier youth development opportunity for ages 16-18. To attend either of the conferences would be opportunities of a lifetime for any student.”

Rolling said CWF takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, just one mile from the Washington DC border.

“Every summer, thousands of young people participate in the CWF program,” Rolling said. “This program provides opportunities for 4-H’ers to strengthen their communication, leadership and citizenship skills and better understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders.”

The students exchange ideas, practice respect and form friendships with youth from diverse backgrounds.

“They also experiences hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington DC,” Rolling said. “They have a behind-the scenes look at our nation’s capital and a chance to meet members of Congress. The students are immersed in the culture and history of Washington through onsite workshop and historic sites including The Capitol, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Presidential and war monuments and memorials and the Smithsonian museums.

National 4-H Conference also provides leadership and citizenship opportunities in the nation’s capital city and brings together youth, volunteers, leaders and Extension staff from across the United States and its territories as well as the Canadian provinces.

“National 4-H Conference engages youth from across America in developing recommendations for the National 4-H Youth Development Program,” Rolling said. “Delegates at the working conference will create a product that will help guide the future of the National 4-H Youth Development Program. Delegates are also ambassadors for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Alabama 4-H, representing Alabama 4-H interests with U.S. Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill Day.”

Rolling said 4-H’ers who are interested in being a part of either of the leadership and citizenship program are encouraged to discuss their desires with their parents.

“I encourage parents to consider these opportunities for the 4-H’ers,” she said. “Information about Citizenship-Leadership Washington Focus and National 4-H Conference, including guidelines and fees, are available at the Pike County Extension Office on South Three Notch Street in Troy. For more information, call the Extension office at 334-5676-0985