I’m inspired by the many 4‑H youth I’ve seen discover their passion and turn it into purpose. Through scholarship programs like Youth in Action, collaborations such as NBC News Learn, and national initiatives like 4‑H National Youth Science Day, 4‑H’ers nationwide used these platforms to confidently share their purpose with the world. Through Cooperative Extension’s 4‑H program, they made their communities healthier, stronger, and more equitable.
Today, youth in 4‑H who have found their purpose have tremendous influence to inspire and empower their peers and those around them. Not just some day in the future – but today. We call them True Leaders. Now more than ever, our country needs 4‑H’s True Leaders giving back, making healthy choices, boldly standing up for others, and recognizing and solving the toughest challenges in their communities.
We all need True Leaders.
We need Clyde, who is using technology to combat a drug overdose epidemic.
We need Aja, who is providing STEM access to underserved and minority youth.
We need Mayyadah, who is educating her community on LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity.
We need Callie, who is equipping local law enforcement with stuffed animals for kids who find themselves in stressful situations.
Each of us has the opportunity to provide the young people in our lives with the confidence and skills they need to succeed. I’m deeply grateful for Cooperative Extension’s professional 4‑H staff and the growing family of supporters who continue to rally behind kids and ensure equal access to youth development opportunities and education. No matter where kids live, how they identify, or their circumstances, they deserve access to the skill-building experiences that will open doors of opportunity for them. Today’s 4‑H is focused squarely on this purpose and we welcome you to join us.