4-H and the CHS Foundation Partner to Empower Youth

By National 4-H Council March 09, 2022

$1 Million Grant Designed to Create Positive Community Change

100 Youth and Adults Trained to Serve as Equity Leaders in Their Communities

(Chevy Chase, Md., March 9, 2022) ­- Today, National 4-H Council announced a partnership with the CHS Foundation through the 4-H True Leaders in Equity and What I Wish People Knew (WIWPK) programs. The $1 million grant from the CHS Foundation will support the 4-H True Leaders in Equity Institute (TLEI), which will train up to 100 youth and adults to serve as equity leaders in their communities and launch the WIWPK program to support 4-H youth in sharing their stories and passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.

4-H TLEI is an annual, in-depth summit that equips 4-H youth to create change in their communities. This year the Institute takes place July 11-15 in Bethesda, Maryland. Participants will emerge ready to champion equity-related projects in their local communities and foster more welcoming and inclusive environments.

"At 4-H we believe access, equity, diversity and inclusion are essential to who we are. We welcome young people of all beliefs and backgrounds and give them a voice to express how they make their lives and communities better," said Dorothy Freeman, director, diversity, equity and inclusion, National 4-H Council. "The 4-H True Leaders in Equity Institute gives youth the tools, practices and mentorship needed to make their vision a reality. We are grateful to be partnering with the CHS Foundation in support of this program."

Since 1947, the CHS Foundation has been dedicated to cultivating a new generation of agriculture leaders by supporting high-impact ag programs that help create future champions and build a strong talent pipeline for the industry.

"Inclusion is a core value at CHS. We want to remove barriers and create an environment in agriculture where everyone feels welcomed, respected and empowered to succeed," said Erin Olson, CHS senior director, talent management.  "4-H has a unique ability to reach and empower youth from rural, suburban and urban areas. We look forward to hearing their stories and seeing the impact they can make through the True Leaders in Equity program, which is an important part of our goal of balancing immediate actions with ongoing education and long-term change."

Support from the CHS Foundation will provide funding for the 4-H TLEI and for the students participating. The event includes keynote speakers and workshops that equip and empower youth to address diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging issues. This training and leadership opportunity paves the way for participants to work together to conceive, plan and implement a project that tackles an equity-related challenge in their local community. Working with local community partners and the Cooperative Extension System, TLEI participants use their voices to create system change, preparing them to be equity leaders no matter where they are.

To learn more about the 2022 True Leaders in Equity Institute, visit: https://4-H.org/TLEI . Applications are now being accepted.

Support from the CHS Foundation will also be used to help empower teens to share their personal, lived experiences through the What I Wish People Knew program. Using digital formats, teens will have a safe space to have real conversations and connect with others who may have similar experiences and want to use their voice to affect change.

About the CHS Foundation

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high-impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture. Learn more at CHSFOUNDATION.ORG.

About 4‑H

4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation's Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.

Learn more about 4‑H at 4-H.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.