UF and Alachua County’s youth development program is creating the next generation of leaders

UF and Alachua County’s youth development program is creating the next generation of leaders
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:41 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - 4-H is UF’s youth development program in conjunction with Alachua County.

Every county throughout the state has a 4-H program that collaborates with the nearest university.

The program works with youth ages 5 to 18 to teach them about 35 life skills.

This is through projects and programs such as creative arts, stem projects, leadership and citizenship.

One leader of 4-H said the program began focused on agriculture but has now evolved into many different outlets.

“We are still growing, we are adding more projects, adding more youth,” said 4-H extension agent, Mary Lee Sale. “We’re the largest youth development organization and 4-H is the most widely known youth organization and I think that because of our abilities to evolve and grow with the communities that we serve.”

Over the summer, 4-H hosts many different state events that features the state council and executive board.

Alachua County has had 2 state officers the past few years.

One part of the curriculum is called 4-H University and this will take place on UF’s campus July 25-28.

Teens from all around the state will compete in events, attend career-readiness workshops, elect state council officers, and more.

“So what we really like to focus on here in Alachua County is getting those kids involved on that state leadership committee, or the state executive board to plan those summer events. We have a lot of kids who are really strong leaders in Alachua County so I really like focusing on those kids and helping to develop their potential as much as possible” said Sale.

4-H legislature also happens every summer where 14 through 18 year olds visit Tallahassee and have a mock legislative session where they turn bills into laws.

The 4-H year starts September 1st and runs through August 31st.

CLICK HERE for information of 4-H.

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