Fifteen New Jersey 4-H youth are ready to take on the challenges of leadership in the 21st century after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle-school youth. The conference was held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from July 15-19.
The four-day 4-H conference provided 135 youth and 30 adult chaperones from 15 states with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in experiential learning that boosted leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. In addition, the LWF conference also prepared youth to return home with important skills to make positive changes in their own communities.
“The opportunity to attend Leadership Washington Focus was priceless for these middle school youth as it offered them the chance to build lifetime skills,” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, 4-H agent in the Department of 4-H Youth Development. “Their participation in LWF will prove beneficial to both them and their communities as they take on important leadership roles.”
During the conference, the youth were engaged in hands-on learning experiences that brought the monuments, memorials and museums of Washington, D.C., to life.
The following 4-H delegates from New Jersey represented nine counties:
Alexis Mathis (Atlantic); Jennifer Malti (Bergen); Devin Brady, Kira Kinsey, and Victoria Zubrzycki (Camden); Victoria Matt (Cape May); Morgan Krupa (Hunterdon); Ashwin Gokhale and Vedant Iyer (Middlesex); Nicole Harden (Passaic); Kirsten Clerico, Kara Johnson, Alexi Rushton and Ariel Staffin (Somerset); and Sarah Sharp (Salem).
Funding for delegate travel and cost of tuition was provided by First Pioneer Agricultural Leadership Fund – Joshua Geary Fund and county 4-H associations.
For more information about the New Jersey 4-H Program visit the 4-H website.