4‑H YOUTH VOICES
In 4‑H, we believe in the power of young people. That’s why we’re putting a spotlight on young people who are making a difference in their communities and creating opportunities at a time when the nation is facing multiple challenges. This page features stories about young leaders who are making a difference right now, tackling issues ranging from COVID-19 relief, to racial equity, to social justice and beyond.
If you or someone you know is helping your community or people in need, or if are you’re looking for some inspiration on how to help, let us know. Use #TrueLeaders on social media or FILL OUT THIS FORM to share how you’re making a difference. 4‑H may feature your stories and ideas below and on social media.
Read the youth stories below to discover how 4‑H’ers are changing the world.
4-H'ers making a difference
Coding to combat
Alexa Mitchell, a 16 year old from Fairfax, VA, first learned about food insecurity—and what she could do to help combat it—through her 4‑H club. It was there that she first took...
Translating local grocery communications
Daisy Buenrostro, Quincy, Washington
Daisy, a 4‑H’er from Quincy, Washington, has been helping connect adults in her community to important digital tools for over three years as part of the 4‑H Tech Changemakers program. Her focus has been on empowering people with skills that will...
Providing food to community members through gardening
Janya Green, Georgia
Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Winner
Growing up on her family’s farm, Janya Green learned first-hand about agriculture and the challenges America’s farmers face. Her interest in agriculture channeled into a passion for...
Helping kids manage anxiety
Jordyn Maloy and her 4‑H team from Maine have an ambitious goal: create a comprehensive mental health curriculum, for kids by kids. Each lesson is designed to be relatable, relevant and teachable by and for middle through high school aged students. Jordyn...
Reaching veterans with encouragement
Amelia Day, Fort Valley, GA
Youth in Action National Winner
When Amelia Day accompanied her father to an appointment at a veteran’s hospital in 2012, she didn’t know that the visit would spark an idea for a 4‑H service project that would reach far...
Sewing masks for vulnerable populations
Maria Lonneman, Cleveland, Ohio
Throughout early 2020, Maria Lonneman was hard at work to launch her 4‑H sewing project, “Heavy Hugs Weighted Blankets”. In January, she held a small event for 4‑H’ers to learn to make weighted blankets for youth with autism and was looking...
Providing resources to frontline healthcare workers
Cade McMunigal and Ian Jackson, Monroe County, West Virginia
Cade McMunigal and Ian Jackson, high school seniors in Monroe County, West Virginia, are answering the call to help medical workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. In March, they heard that healthcare workers...
Providing supplies to food pantry workers
Addy Battel and Pearl Daskam, Cass City, Michigan
Cass City, Mich., seniors Addy Battel and Pearl Daskam have long been committed to addressing food insecurity in their hometown. Cass City became a food desert when the girls were in middle school, and at just 12...
Connecting farms with surplus crops to consumers
Hunter Williams, Lake Butler, FL
With school out of session, restaurants closed, and tourism at a standstill, supply chains for farmers all across the country have been disrupted. The problem is so bad that farmers are plowing thousands of acres of fresh produce back into...
Providing food through "Blessing boxes"
Garrett Sander, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Garrett Sanders, a high school senior and 4‑H’er in Tangipahoa Parish, LA, was looking for a way to meaningfully contribute to his community, even after he went off to college. He was searching for an idea that he could get...
Sewing masks for healthcare workers
SewWhat 4‑H Club, Nashville, NC
As COVID-19 swept the country, 4‑H clubs nationwide moved their efforts online and began exploring new ways to keep learning and keep projects going from a distance. When the local JOANN fabric store contacted SewWhat 4‑H Club leader Jane Tyson,...
Giving hope through
Mason McClintock, Georgia
Youth in Action Civic Engagement Pillar Winner
As young people around the globe cope with the drastic changes in their lives caused by COVID-19, 4‑H’ers are banding together to make an impact in their communities in large and small ways. Georgia...
Creating 3D face shields for first responders
4‑H Club, Illinois
As healthcare workers around the country face a shortage of personal protective equipment, 4‑H’ers on the Elgin, Illinois, “got robot?” FIRST Tech Challenge team are working together – separately – to produce 3D printed face shields for...
Creating 3D printed resources for hospitals
Joseph Huff, Utah
Youth in Action STEM Pillar Winner
Joseph Huff is no stranger to using 3D printing to help those in need. His dad, a stroke survivor, has limited use of his right hand. When Joseph realized he could 3D print prosthetics for...
Fighting food insecurity during social distancing
Erin Kistner, Illinois
Like many Americans, Erin Kistner was unaware that a large proportion of her neighbors, friends and classmates were struggling to get access to three meals a day. After all, in high school this problem can be difficult to detect since many teens...
Organizing a blood drive with healthcare works
Hana Pfeiffer, Idaho
Hana Pfeiffer’s hometown in rural Idaho is facing an ongoing shortage of donated blood to perform life-saving procedures at the local hospital. Inspired by her experience as a 4‑H leader in...
Paying opportunity forward
Nalia Warmack, Illinois
From an early age, Nalia Warmack recognized that learning something new could be a life-changing opportunity. In her Illinois hometown, these opportunities came in the form of 4‑H, which she joined at the age of four.
For Nalia, having access to...
Giving all kids access to 4‑H camp
Amelia Sale, Georgia
Amelia Sale, an 18-year-old from Oconee County, GA, found something at 4‑H camp that has had a profound effect on her life: a sense of confidence, purpose and belonging. “It’s really where I feel as if I am loved and celebrated for...
Providing supplies to elderly community members
Amanda Hibbard, New Mexico
Amanda Hibbard lives in a rural ranching community in New Mexico, where elderly neighbors were running low on household staples due to stay-at-home orders during COVID-19 times. Using access to her family owned grocery store, Amanda, along with her siblings and...
More youth stories
Battling the opioid crisis
Dani Jo Thatcher, Elmo, Utah
Dani Jo’s personal mission is to encourage all residents in her hometown to clean out their medicine cabinets. Dani Jo is from Emery County, Utah, a rural area that has been heavily affected by the opioid crisis. She has been...
Fighting mental health stigmas
Florencia Tellechea, Davis County, Utah
Florencia has always loved living in Davis County – from the gorgeous landscapes, great people and unique culture, she loves the sense of community. When suicide rates in the county began to increase and mental health became an issue in the...
Providing food to a community in need
Pearl Daskam, Ubly, Michigan
Pearl Daskam is the co-founder of a project called “Meating” the Need for Our Village. The project is the result of a group of youth realizing a need in their community — a lack of protein options at the local food pantry....
Bringing STEM to diverse youth
Aja Capel, Illinois
Aja’s passion for STEM was ignited through her frustration with the under-represented minority STEM gap. As a result, she started See Me in STEM with a mission to provide exposure, access, and STEM opportunities to under-represented youth. She impacted 122+ youth in...
Changing communities through data visualization
Clyde Van Dyke
Youth in Action Award National and STEM Pillar Winner
Clyde Van Dyke was told at a young age that he likely would not graduate from high school or ever be successful. Facing many challenges, he didn’t have the support he needed...
Teaching youth valuable coding skills
Decklan Thomas, West Virginia
Following the footsteps of three generations of his family in the trucking industry, Decklan, a high schooler in West Virginia, planned on becoming a diesel mechanic. The field was appealing not only because of family tradition, but also because it allowed...
Helping kids through coding
Ethan Auyeung, California
Growing online learning in rural areas
Emily, Catoosa County, Georgia
Emily joined the Microsoft Tech Changemakers program when she learned how many people in Georgia still lack broadband access. Emily has always had access to the internet and she grew up learning digital skills from her parents. It was a way...
Helping adults learn digital skills
Cameron, Dodge County, Wisconsin
Cameron was inspired to join the Microsoft Tech Changemakers program because of his own trouble accessing the internet at home. With 30% of residents in his community being over age 55 he realized the impact they can have on creating more...
Community & civic engagement
Fighting for LGBTQ+ and racial equity and inclusion
Mayyadah Zagelow, Washington
True Leaders in Equity Ambassador
Mayyadah Zagelow’s 4‑H experiences connected her with youth from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences from her own. Mayyadah is an advocate who works for social change in 4‑H and her community. She is a senior in...
Creating opportunities for youth
Stanley Celestine, Jr., Louisiana
Stanley Celestine, Jr., is a nationally recognized education reformer, youth development practitioner, and youngest member of the Avoyelles Parish School Board. He is also the founder and executive director of the Forum for Opportunity Youth, a nonprofit that supports young people...
Helping refugees in their new communities
Mariah Canton, California
True Leaders in Equity Ambassador
An 11-year member of California 4‑H, Mariah Canton is passionate about education and the positive effect 4‑H can have on communities. While traveling to Greece to work with refugees and teach English, Mariah and her team...
Fighting LGBTQ+ discrimination
Emma Newell, Ohio
Emma Newell is an Ohio 4‑H alumna, National 4‑H Council Young Alumni Advisory Committee member, and self-proclaimed ally. Emma joined a committee to assist in educating friends, faculty, and staff in 4‑H about the LGBTQ+ community, which led to the creation...
Educating about the importance of honey bees
Jacob Shuman, Ohio
Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Winner
Jacob Shuman became an advocate for bees through Ohio State University Cooperative Extension after finding out that...
Fighting food waste
4‑H Science Matters Team, Johnson County, Kansas
4‑Hers involved in the Science Matters program not only participate in hands-on activities that broaden their perspectives about today’s science and agriculture, but they are also challenged to develop action plans and create long-term solutions for challenges facing...
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