Lives changed as teens find hidden strengths as teen teacher

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The pilot program for the 4-H Teens as Teachers grant has wrapped up, and the results prove the concept of using teens to teach peers is solid for both the participants and the teen mentors. The following testimonials speak to the impact for 4-H Teen Teachers.

  • "Being a teen teacher showed me that there was more to life than just being about yourself. It's about being there for someone else when nobody else will."
  • "4-H has really changed my life, it has helped me decide what I want to be when I'm older, and most of all prepared me with life skills such as leadership, public speaking and how to make a difference in my community."
  • "4-H initially was a form of volunteering for me. Although it still remains that now it has become more of an interest than a form of volunteer work. To be a part of a group that is pioneering a form of teaching; for 4-H for my efforts to affect the future of this program for the rest of this nation is invigorating. What makes this even great is due to the fact that it is science that I am teaching. In a sense Teens as Teachers has become an experiment that I am participating in and observing."

The Illinois Teens As Teacher Noyce-funded grant through National 4-H Council engaged 59 teen teachers who reached 1,570 younger youth through STEM programming in robotics, gardening, biotech, health, nutrition and filmmaking in the pilot sites of Metro East St. Louis, Peoria, Springfield and the Quad Cities.


Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.