AMES, Iowa -- Eleven Johnson County youth involved in the 4-H Big Brothers Big Sisters program visited the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C., in July. The 11 students, ranging from 14-17 years old, participated in the National 4-H Mentoring Capstone.
Through the National 4-H Mentoring grant, the youth are given mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County and participate in 4-H club educational activities. Parents, guardians and siblings also share in the learning opportunities through Family Night activities.
Youth participating in the ongoing 4-H Big Brothers Big Sisters grant partnership were selected for the National 4-H Mentoring Capstone. The capstone event included the Citizenship Washington Focus, an annual 4-H program immersing participants in leadership and citizenship experiences.
“This is an incredible leadership and citizenship experience for these 4-H’ers,” said Janet Martin, an urban 4-H youth program specialist in Johnson County. With a special emphasis on mentoring, the 4-H’ers learned civic leadership and the tools to bring about positive change in their communities.
The participants spent a day on Capitol Hill, meeting members of Iowa’s congressional delegation Rep. Dave Loebsack and Sen. Chuck Grassley.
For more than 30 years, 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters have been youth programs of Johnson County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This trip and the ongoing 4-H Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring grant partnership is funded by the National 4-H Council, using grant money from the national Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Photo caption: Sen. Chuck Grassley visits with the National 4-H Mentoring Capstone youth.