AMES, Iowa — Forty Iowa youth officially began their new terms as State 4-H Council members at the closing ceremonies of the annual Iowa 4-H Youth Conference on June 26.
Members of State Council serve as ambassadors for the 4-H Youth Development program throughout the state and their local counties, said Brenda Allen, 4-H youth program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
To be considered for a council position, each 4-H’er submitted an application and participated in interviews as a part of the state 4-H recognition day last spring. Allen explained that the youth are selected based on their leadership and communication skills, as well as their potential to contribute to the larger group.
Council members volunteer at the Iowa State Fair and other statewide 4-H events throughout the year. One of their biggest responsibilities is to organize and implement the annual Iowa 4-H Youth Conference.
“The members gain leadership and communication skills, both through training opportunities as well as through their responsibilities as committee chairs and representatives of the council at county and statewide events,” said Allen.
Another responsibility of council members as part of their role as ambassadors is to visit counties and share information with youth regarding opportunities beyond county lines. They also coordinate, promote and oversee the 4-H’ers for 4-H fundraising campaign.
“The State 4-H Council strengthens the 4-H Youth Development program because they are able to connect and share with their peers some of the exciting programs, experiences and information relevant to today’s teens,” said Allen. “They also provide feedback to the state 4-H office so we get a real perspective from current 4-H’ers when implementing programming and making plans for the future.”
Council members attend multiple retreats throughout the year that are focused on developing leadership, citizenship, communication and personal life skills while also providing opportunities to work as a team and make friends. “One of my personal goals was to expand my confidence,” said Hannah Al-Mazroa, State 4-H Council member from Madison County. “Being on State Council has helped me be able to talk in front of a large audience and easily spark a conversation with a stranger.”
“My experience on State Council has helped me grow as a person,” said Al-Mazroa. “At the very first retreat I knew no one, but now when I see a State Council member I think of them as family.” This will be Al-Mazroa’s second year as a State 4-H Council member.
The State 4-H Council members represent all parts of Iowa. The council members work to give back to their communities and help 4-H Youth Development best serve the youth of Iowa.
[PHOTO] Council members from central Iowa from left to right: Jenna Short, Hamilton County; Emma Skahill, Dallas County; Vice President for Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress; Emma Whalen, Boone County; and Emma Thayer, Polk County. Not pictured: Mallory Hammitt, Webster County; Matt Magee, Wright County; Cameron Mitchell, Hamilton County; Hannah Peterson, Webster County; and Olivia Young, Hamilton County.
[PHOTO] Council members from northeast Iowa from left to right: Katie Fuller, Worth County; Vivian Benjegerdes, Worth County; Vice President for Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress; Spencer Orr, Cerro Gordo County; and Emi Frohn, Howard County. Not Pictured: Nash Lansing, Fayette County; Susan Schwickerath, Chickasaw County; and Kaitlin Varner, Worth County.
[PHOTO] Council members from northwest Iowa from left to right:
Ryan Nicholson, Calhoun County; Alex Pickhinke, Sac County; Aubrey Houska, Sac County; Madison Schwenneker, Clay County; Vice President for Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress; Jordan Hansen, Clay County; Jacob Clark, Calhoun County; and Cali Westergard, Plymouth County.
[PHOTO] Council members from southeast Iowa from left to right:
Will DeBerg, Des Moines County; Katie Hamilton, Linn County; Kara Schueler, Johnson County; Kaitlin Hora, Washington County; Emma Stout, Washington County; Vice President for Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress; Bernadette Poduska, Jones County; Grace Westercamp, Van Buren County; Jacinta Wenke, Van Buren County; and Stetsen Greiner, Johnson County.
[PHOTO] Council members from southwest Iowa from left to right:
Seth Millikan, Harrison County; Shelby Soper, Adair County; Victoria Smiley, Madison County; Vice President for Extension and Outreach Cathann Kress; Brooke Pigman, West Pottawattamie County; Elizabeth Nible, Madison County; and Sam Rew, Mills County. Not pictured: Hannah Al-Mazroa, Madison County and Sara Schoening, Mills County.