4-H Connect: Reaching New Communities
The 4-H Connect program is a three-day retreat designed to use cultural strengths to introduce untapped and underserved youth to their local 4-H program, introduce volunteers and staff to culturally based leadership development best practices, and connect youth to post-secondary educational opportunities and resources available through Iowa State University.
Young people also participated in fun and educational activities and presentations on topics ranging from resume writing and leadership to lifestyle budgeting, personality styles, teamwork and communication, dancing, soccer and art.
“4-H Connect helped me come out of my comfort zone and learn how to work with new people,” said participant Bethany Espinoza.
Youth also shared that they learned more about the importance of speaking up for themselves and how to achieve their goals by listening to experiences from those of differing cultures.
“The youth who attended this retreat are full of energy and inspire me to continue reaching all youth in the state through 4-H programming,” said Lorena Dorado-Robles, 4-H recruitment, retention and engagement specialist.
Participants left the experience feeling positive and encouraging others to attend the program in the future.
“If opportunities like this come, don’t be afraid to grab them, it’s all about connecting with other youth that look like us,” said participant Leverny Loanis.