Three members of 4-H Tech Wizards Mentoring Program attend 2013 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus

In mid-July, three Macomb County youth from a mentoring match in the Detroit Arsenal 4-H Tech Wizards Mentoring Program attended the 2013 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus conference.

July 29, 2013 - Author: Lisa Kelley and Priscilla Martin

Three Macomb County youth from a mentoring match in the Detroit Arsenal 4-H Tech Wizards Mentoring Program in Warren, Michigan represented their state at the 4-H National Mentoring Capstone Event (part of the 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus [CWF] conference) held at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland from July 14 to 20, 2013. Manraj Singh, Jaskaran (Jason) Aujla and Gursharan (Gary) Aujla attended the conference with one of their mentors, Lisa Crawford. Crawford, a Functional Technology Specialist for Child, Youth & School Services at the U.S. Army Garrison-Detroit Arsenal, is the coordinator for this 4-H mentoring site.

In front of the White HouseThis CWF conference attracted 95 youth from 18 states across America. The Michigan delegates’ travel and registration was generously funded by National 4-H Council through a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Their trip was coordinated by Lisa Kelley, Oakland County 4-H and Macomb County 4-H Tech Wizards Program Coordinator.

The Michigan delegates participated in workshops that covered strategy on governance, creating and writing bills and comprehensive citizenship. These workshops led to break-out sessions on the responsibility of individual citizenship, government on the local and national level, healthy-living skills, communication, and talent discovery and development. Action planning was the ultimate goal of the workshops. Each committee engaged the entire 4-H delegation with a PowerPoint presentation of their ideas, strategy, action plan, lessons learned and solutions. The mentors and chaperones participated in their own workshops about mentoring and youth development apart from the youth.

The 4-H CWF youth toured Washington, DC extensively and visited many historic sites including the: U. S. Marine Corps War (Iwo Jima) Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson MemorialLincoln MemorialFranklin Delano Roosevelt MemorialMartin Luther King, Jr. MemorialArlington National CemeteryWashington National Cathedral, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Air Force Memorial, Pentagon and White House.

When touring Capitol Hill, the 4-H CWF youth broke into their state delegations and met with specific U.S. senators and representatives about issues relating to youth in America. The Michigan group met with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Barbara Boxer to discuss 4-H Tech Wizards and youth development in general.

Besides declaring that this trip was the best time of their lives, Manraj, Jason and Gary stated that they learned a lot about citizenship and much about what Washington, DC memorials symbolize. In their final presentation at 4-H CWF they used the following acronym to describe the meaning of citizenship as it relates to 4-H Tech Wizards:

Creative

InterestingAt the National 4-H Center

Teamwork

Intelligent

Zeal

Empowering

Noble

Supportive

Hard work

Impact

Proud to be a part of it!

4-H Tech Wizards is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-focused mentoring program in which  STEM professionals are matched with four youth between the ages of 10 and 17 to work on activities driven by the young peoples’ interests and imaginations.

For information regarding the 4-H Tech Wizards program in southeastern Michigan, email Lisa Kelley or phone her at 248-858-1524.

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