Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council wraps up third year

More than 39 Michigan youth have been selected for leadership experience.

December 29, 2017 - Author: Jackelyn Martin, Michigan State University Extension

Michigan 4-H Youth Development values the importance of youth voice and leadership in program planning, design and implementation. To provide a more consistent venue for youth voice, the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC) was conceived in 2015 in response to youth returning from National 4-H experiences and wishing that Michigan had a venue for youth leadership at the state level.

2017 marks the completion of the third year of the council. Since its inception, 39 youth have been selected to serve on the council representing 22 counties across Michigan. The selection process for applicants is becoming an increasingly competitive endeavor with over 30 applicants for 2018 council.

In 2017, SYLC members accomplished the following objectives:

  • Represented state and local 4-H programs over 30 times throughout the year ranging from awards programs, promotional events and media interviews.
  • Supported statewide Michigan 4-H promotional events at a MSU Women’s basketball game, Lansing Lugnuts’ Game, and an MSU 4-H Alumni Welcome Week event.   
  • Represented a variety of 4-H STEM program areas during the Michigan State University President’s special tailgate reception at Cowles House at Michigan State University.
  • Organized three service projects including a beach clean-up, facilitating a kid’s activity station at MSU Small Animals Day and reading to youth at a local school.

Members completing their term on the 2017 State Youth Leadership Council reflected on their experiences saying:

  • “I am no longer nervous to speak to people I don’t know about things that matter to me and SYLC has really given me that ability.” - Kennedy DeFrancesco, Alger County
  •  “One of the most important skills that I have gained through SYLC was the ability to listen and step back from the leadership position. I am normally the person who constantly jumps in with their opinion, however, the council has taught me how to be a better listener so that everyone has a chance to get their voice out there.” - Emma Young, Washtenaw County
  • “SYLC has given me an abundance of opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. I learned how programming is funded and how much my voice matters when talking to stakeholders.” - Samantha Beaudrie, Monroe County
  • “SYLC has provided me with an opportunity to take on a leadership role as well as to work on my public speaking.” - Katie Kurburski, Emmet County
  • “By being a part of SYLC, I have made great connections, memories and friends that I will always have and helped shape some important issues in Michigan's 4-H program.” -  Josiah Bear, Clare County

For more information about SYLC, visit our webpage. To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, citizenship, and service and global & cultural education programs read our 2016 Impact Report: Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.  Additional impact reports highlighting even more ways Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016 can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

Tags: 4-h, citizenship & service, leadership, michigan 4-h state youth leadership council, msu extension

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