$1.1M Gift from Joel Roth Launches 4-H Leadership Academy

By National 4-H Council May 24, 2024

WASHINGTON D.C. (MAY 21, 2024) – National 4-H Council (Council) today announced a partnership with Atlanta-based businessman and philanthropist, Joel Roth, who provided a $1.1M gift to launch the 4-H Leadership Academy (The Academy). This two-year pilot will provide 25 high school students with employability skills that business leaders seek, including communication, leadership, ethics, conflict resolution and social responsibility.

Known as Roth Scholars, The Academy’s first cohort are participants from five 4-H Cooperative Extension Land Grant Universities.

  • Auburn University: Walton Butterworth, Brianna Fleming, Camryn Humphries, Grayson Randall, Ryan Teague 
  • Rutgers University: Allison Lopez, Katie Mirne, Jennessa Rava, Reeti Rout, Zhihe (Emma) Yin
  • The Ohio State University: Dane Creswell, Makenna Lybarger Campbell Pohlman, Logan Pridemore, Campbell Reese
  • University of Idaho: Ean Gauthie, Adri Hansen, Myka Hansen, Miles Palmer, Cayden Smith
  • University of Minnesota: Samantha Hamm, Jerzy Holdeman, Vivian Lahti, Alena Skinner, Anna Rott

“The 4-H Leadership Academy advances a commitment shared by 4-H and Mr. Roth - to help young people develop the skills they need to prepare for work and life,” said Jill Bramble, President and CEO of National 4-H Council. “We thank Mr. Roth for his gratitude and this avenue to share leadership skills where our young people can learn, grow and be work ready.”

Academy participants will receive stipends to support research projects that address community challenges. In addition, mentors support their learnings in areas such as ethical decision-making, logic and reasoning, conflict resolution, and written and verbal communication. The culmination of the program will see the Roth Scholars implement the lessons learned in the cohort to drive research-based community impact.

“The problems facing our society are getting bigger and bigger, and more and more lasting. It’s increasingly important that we prepare young people to be thoughtful, effective leaders who are well positioned to take on these challenges,” Roth said. “4-H’s national reach, university-backed expertise, network of highly trained educators, in-person and virtual programming options, and longstanding reputation make them the perfect positive youth development partner for this new academy.”

For more information on the 4-H Leadership Academy, or to request interviews with Mr. Roth, National 4-H Council leadership or the Roth Scholars, contact 4hcouncil@ssmandl.com.

About National 4-H Council:

National 4H Council is the private sector non-profit partner of Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program. Our executive team and Board of Trustees are committed to growing the capital investment in positive youth development so that all youth thrive through 4H programs. We champion the belief that young people are leaders today and when given the opportunity to find their spark, work alongside caring adult mentors and use their voice, their potential is endless.

National 4H Council supports national and state 4H programs with a focus on fundraising, brand management, communications, and legal and fiduciary services.

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