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Our Illinois 4-H Story

4-H Legislative Connection: A shared voice which leads to greater understanding

Since its beginning, Illinois 4-H has believed in the importance of young people being engaged, well-informed citizens. By connecting to their communities and leaders, youth understand their role in civic affairs and are able to expand their role in decision-making processes. Citizenship is one of the core components of Illinois 4-H. It's one of only three areas we find so important, we call them "mission mandates." One key way we fulfill that mandate is through a two-day real-life engagement with state legislators--4-H Legislative Connection.

"4-H Legislative Connection provides Illinois 4-H members a unique opportunity to learn about the state legislative process," said Dr. George Czapar, University of Illinois Extension director. "They learn firsthand about Illinois government and also meet with elected officials."

The youth who attend this event are 14-19 years of age and all are teen leaders in their home community 4-H programs. This year, more than 40 youth from all over Illinois participated.

The delegation was announced in the House of Representatives by Charles Meier, District 108 and in the Senate by Senator Chapin Rose, Senate District 51.

It's clear that civic engagement provides the foundation that helps youth understand the big picture of life and learn the skill sets that will allow them to become wise leaders for the 21st century.


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.