Iowa 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador Program

4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors work as a team, bringing wellness initiatives to communities across Iowa. Selected participants will be immersed in a community health and wellness learning experience addressing issues such as hunger and food insecurity, nutrition and physical health, and mental well-being. Healthy Living Ambassadors are invited to represent Iowa at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit each February in or near Washington D.C. Then the team will design an action plan to facilitate educational experiences for youth. They will wrap up their term by hosting 4-H Healthy Living Day at the Iowa State Fair. This opportunity is now offered through State 4-H Recognition Day.

  • Applicants must be in grade 9-11 at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in 4-H.
  • Up to 10 applicants will be selected with geographic disbursement considered.
  • Term will be the upcoming August through the August of the following year.
  • Ambassadors may be selected to attend the following year’s National 4-H Healthy Living Summit during their term of service. Availability and cost will be dependent on funding.
  • A maximum of 18 interviews will be scheduled for this opportunity, candidates will be selected through the written application round.

Application Information Coming Soon!

Role of Healthy Living Ambassador

Ambassadors will be selected to represent an area of our state and will work with an adult mentor to determine a project, create an action plan, and implement that program to reach youth audiences with 8 or more hours of healthy living content. The topic of healthy living programming can range based on ambassador’s interest, but most programming will revolve around the issue of food access in our communities and teaching youth and families about nutrition and cooking skills. There will be opportunities to integrate other topics related to wellness like mental, social, emotional, environmental, and financial well-being.

Ambassadors will be trained in this role and will utilize resources and guidance from 4-H staff and experts in the field. While there are specific expectations, youth leaders are encouraged to tie in the area of wellness they are most passionate about.

Expectations of an Ambassador:

  • Complete scheduled trainings and team meetings which includes:
    • Monthly web calls
    • Quarterly weekend retreats (held in central location based on participants’ locale)
  • As part of this event, youth team will determine a project goal, and they are expected to follow through with this team plan by August 31.
  • Deliver 8 hours or more of programming on Healthy Living topic to youth and/or families in their local community.
  • Be a part of the planning team and help coordinate 4-H Healthy Living Day at the State Fair in August.
  • Embody the role of Healthy Living Ambassador to be a voice in your community advocated for healthy changes.

National 4-H Healthy Living Summit

Ambassadors selected through the State 4-H Recognition Day process may be invited to represent Iowa 4-H at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit in the following February. Availability and costs will be dependent on funding.

Participants will engage with 4-H members across the county by attending networking sessions. Youth participants will develop youth knowledge and skills in addressing today’s health related issues including nutrition education, physical fitness, wellness, and emotional wellbeing through interactive workshops. Other parts of the summit include hearing from professionals in these related fields and creating action plans to implement projects that promote healthy living back home in their communities.

For National 4-H Healthy Living Summit information, click here.

The 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador program is made possible through the National 4-H Healthy Habits grant funded through the Walmart Foundation. Iowa 4-H State Recognition Day is made possible with support from the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

Healthy living ambassadors.
Pictured: Katravia led Healthy Living activities and infused water at her County Fair, Tylar leading sugary beverages activity during his multi-day summer program, Hannah sharing county health rankings and survey results regarding youth health, and Gabby leading a demonstration on making a healthy snack.

Laura Paulsen