Alcona County investing in Alcona County youth with 4-H and MSU Extension 2017

MSU Extension's 4-H program has impacted more than 871 youth in Alcona County.

Kids learn by doing with positive adults and friends in a fun, safe setting. Whether coding, photography, stargazing, soccer, rabbits, robots, cultural diversity, dance, etc, there is a 4-H learning opportunity to engage in. A young person’s experiences in 4-H makes a difference for a lifetime by allowing them to grow and appreciate the importance of being a good citizen, strong leader and person of character.

In Alcona County, the 4-H Soccer program remains a prominent youth activity and has engaged over 120 Alcona County youth this past year. They of course enjoy playing the sport and at the same time learn life skills such as teamwork, collaboration, sportsmanship, integrity, positive attitude and more. Many of these youth are first year 4-H members and the majority of them choose another club to participate in.

In June, the Alcona 4-H Student Stewards competed for the first time in the MATE ROV Great Lakes Regional contest held at the Alpena High School. The team, made up of elementary, middle and high school youth worked together to build and drive their ROV to success in the Scout Division of the annual contest. With the guidance of club leaders like MSU Educator Tracy D’Augustino along with John and Jodi Mann, students also created educational and promotional materials like posters and delivered verbal presentations to judges. In the three award areas, the team took all first place honors, and therefore took first place overall for the contest. In addition to their leader/mentors, the team is made up of Dan & Grace Atkinson, Mindy & Shane Mendyka, Cecelia Spears, Alli Brandon and club helpers Juliet and John Mann. 

Beyond the excitement of team sports or competitions, Alcona youth have the opportunity to participate in leadership conferences, be a part of state & national competitions across many topics, become involved in their community through service and meet new friends in a safe and comfortable setting. Leaders mentor, provide encouragement and offer a support system. The relationships built among adult volunteers and youth have lasting effects. Although it may be years before a youth realizes and/or truly appreciates the influence of the 4-H experience and the adult volunteer, one can be certain that 4-H is truly making a difference for life.

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