4‑H TODAY

Black History Month: Cultivating Passion Beyond the Classroom

Teki Hunt’s 4‑H experience began in a diverse Arkansas community, where she participated in a multitude of projects, from fashion to shooting sports to cooking, to name a few. Teki received her undergraduate degree at Spelman College, a historically black college for women.  Although she did not attend an 1890 land-grant university*, she knew the…

Black History Month: Serving the Underserved

Manola Erby, who grew up in a small Mississippi town outside of Meridian, credits her experiences and the support system she had growing up for the opportunities she had. “My Mom couldn’t afford to send me to college,” she remembers, “but the administrators at Alcorn State University [Alcorn] and my community rallied around me. They…

Black History Month: Opportunities for Community Impact

Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin grew up in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, where she was encouraged to join her local 4‑H club, which had a majority Caucasian membership at the time. “There may have been one or two African American kids in the local 4‑H club,” she remembers. “Now that I think about it, those of us who…

Black History Month: Increasing Engagement in African American Communities

4‑H alumni aren’t the only ones with a 4‑H story to tell. For many of those involved in 4‑H, their experience began as a volunteer. That was the case for Dr. Maurice Smith, Assistant Professor and 4‑H Youth Development Extension* Specialist at Virginia State University (VSU). In 2008 in Sussex County, Virginia, Dr. Smith—who was…

Youth Voices: Creating an Environment of Inclusion

Kindness is a choice, and resilience does not always come easy. As simple as those things may seem, they can sometimes be challenging attributes to exude. I realized that many years ago, when I was faced with a situation that was very pivotal in my development as a True Leader. I was eating supper at…

Youth Voices: Five Easy Ways that Teens Can Help Adults Improve Their Digital Skills

Can you help me with my computer? As teenagers, I and many others are all too familiar with this question. Often teenagers are asked to help adults with technology-based questions, such as, “How do I download my photos?” or “How can I get onto Facebook?” Although we try to help, our advice often leaves the…
success

Black History Month: Opportunities that Lead to Success

As a child in the 1960s, Lonnette Marsh grew up in South Carolina with an appreciation for farming and a passion for sewing. Her experience on her family’s farm provided many life lessons, which she was able to apply to her life beyond the land. “I appreciate the knowledge and experiences that I had growing…

Black History Month: Elevating Future Leaders through Exposure, Education and Experience

Black History Month is not only about celebrating people and their stories, but about highlighting what so many have overcome in order for them to have a story to tell. Instances of discrimination and inequality are key moments in African American history, and those experiences were often a turning point in the personal and professional…

Celebrating the Contributions of University Leaders and Their 4‑H Stories

In 1890, the second signing of the Morrill Act established 19 Land-Grant Universities (LGUs) to provide African American students with equal learning opportunities and resources through scientific research and extension programs at higher learning institutions. Over the years, these historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have produced pioneers in agriculture, education, entertainment, STEM, and many…
mentoring

What Mentoring Has Meant to Me: Four Unique Types of Mentors for Growth

When I think about the various people who have influenced me on my professional journey, I’m extremely grateful for the many mentoring relationships that have helped me grow as a person and a leader. If you’re thinking about advancing your career, I encourage you to seek out different types of mentors. My relationships with advisors,…

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