Rock County 4-Her's take 'Passport to Change' at YELLO

More than 300 youth learn to lead at 2016 4-H youth leadership conference

More than 300 youth from across Minnesota gathered at the 4-H Building June 8-11 on the Minnesota State Fair grounds in St. Paul to participate in the annual 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out loud! (YELLO!) youth leadership conference.

Attending from Rock County were Whitney Elbers, Tyler Reisdorfer, Michael Kinsinger, Trevor Mente, Dylan Mente, Kaylie Ossefoort, Hannah Kruse, Allison LaRock and Payton Fick.

The event was filled with exciting activities that help youth learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will use throughout their lives.

Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H YELLO! leadership conference is developed and led by 4-H State Ambassadors, Minnesota youth who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H, and to educate youth and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, and teamwork. This year’s theme was "Passport to Change," and youth explored global citizenship by engaging in workshops and other activities that allow them to break barriers and explore new possibilities.

The 4-H State Ambassadors also held a jeans drive. The jeans were sorted and donated to Teens for Jeans, which gives jeans to homeless youth, Sole Hope which uses jeans to make shoes for children in Uganda, and scraps were donated for use in insulation projects.

“Opportunities like 4-H YELLO! challenge youth to think about how they can have a positive impact on their communities by focusing on things they are passionate about,” said Jacquie Lonning, Extension 4-H Citizenship and Leadership state program director.

“Through these experiences, youth have the space to think creatively, collaborate with their peers, and learn skills they will take back home and apply in their lives and communities.”

To learn more about 4-H in Rock County, contact Interim 4-H Program Coordinator Kelsey Hokanson, at 507-283-1302 and visit the website, www.4-H.umn.edu.

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