AMES, Iowa –Amy Peyton was in eighth grade when she attended her first 4-H Day at the Legislature and listened to high school seniors talk about their experience as pages at the state Capitol. Four years later she saw it again as a high school junior and decided to apply. This year, she is one of them.
The Sac County 4-H’er and Iowa 4-H Youth Council member was chosen to spend the last half of her senior year living in Des Moines and going to the Capitol every day to run errands, make copies and run screens for the 2008 Iowa Legislative Session. While not particularly interested in pursuing a political career, Peyton has enjoyed the opportunity thus far.
“It’s a lot of fun and a great experience to have,” she said.
The chance to serve as a page in the Capitol is only one of many that 4-H’ers will learn about during the Youth Leadership Seminar at Iowa's 4-H Day at the Legislature on March 26. With nearly 200 4-Her’s signed up for the day at the Capitol, the seminar speakers hope to increase awareness and involvement in other 4-H out-of-county experiences. To do that, Peyton and fellow page and Iowa 4-H Youth Council member Allie Ford, 4-H alumni, Herbert Hoover scholars and the Iowa Agricultural Youth Institute (IAYI) will give interactive presentations for the youth.
“The more they know about tech team, state council or the national conference, the more they are likely to participate,” said Tricia Rew, 4-H alum and current Iowa State University Extension intern in-charge of organizing the youth leadership event. “Our overarching goal is to show them how others have been involved in their communities and how they can bring those same things back to their own county and be involved.”
4-H alumni Jon Kempf and Kevin Peyton also will share their 4-H experiences, emphasizing how they brought their experience back to their counties and communities. Siblings Kevin and Amy Peyton also will share how their individual projects earned them each a Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student award and $5,000 scholarship, and members of the IAYI will visit with youth about Iowa agriculture and upcoming opportunities through their organization.
“We hope that more 4-H’ers will realize that it’s the little things that turn into big projects like the uncommon student award,” said Rew. “Being involved makes you a better leader, a better citizen and in the end, a better person.”
“4-H really helps you once you get further in life. The experiences are a great background to have,” Amy Peyton said.
Carol Ouverson , Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9640, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah McCulloh, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-7581, email@example.com