4-H doesn’t teach you to be leaders someday in the future; 4-H puts you in meaningful leadership roles today and surrounds you with caring, supportive adults. 4-H sets you up for success, but we also know that one size doesn't fit all. So, we've created six different teen leadership roles. You pick the role that fits you best: Planning, Promoting, Teaching, Mentoring, Advocating, Advising.
Opportunities for Illinois 4-H Members
The Illinois livestock industry needs young people who are passionate about animal production and 4-H. A 20-member team works throughout the year to tell our story and teach others about the livestock industry. The Illinois State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team application is available online. This leadership opportunity is open to 4-H members or recent 4-H alumni, ages 16-21. Youth serve a 2-year term.
Be at the table and advise on issues related to Illinois agriculture by serving on the Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education Committee. The Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education Committee application is available online. The opportunity is open to 4-H members or recent alums age 17 to 19 who have an interest and experience in any agricultural topic.
From planning conferences to speaking with legislators, the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team provides valuable youth voice to Extension 4-H programs. The 20-member team of 4-H members and recent 4-H alums coordinate at many 4-H events. Download the Illinois Youth Leadership Team Application. This opportunity is open to youth age 16 to 21. Terms last for two years.
If you like to share your skill and knowledge with your peers in a group setting, then the 4-H Teen Teacher role is for you. Teen Teachers plan, teach, and evaluate a progression of lessons for younger youth around lots of different topics. You'll grow your skills in listening, decision-making, and communicating while you become a more confident educator. Learn how you can be a 4-H Teen Teacher in your community.
You love 4-H. We need you to help tell that story to the public. 4-H members received advanced training in public speaking at Speaking for Illinois 4-H trainings held throughout the state. That training prepares you to meet with county and state elected officials, potential donors, civic groups, and new volunteers. You'll also be the state 4-H programs voice at state legislative events, such as 4-H Legislative Connection where 4-H members visit state legislators to tell their 4-H stories and educate the legislators about the benefits of 4-H and University of Illinois Extension. This opportunity is open to youth 14 years of age and older. Check out upcoming training dates.
Be a Teen Leader in Your Club
All 4-H Clubs create opportunities to develop and use leadership skills. In some clubs, members will elect officers such as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Other clubs might have chairs of sub-committees, such as a design team and programming team in a Robotics Special Interest Club. Additional examples include opportunities for youth to mentor other members, plan events, conduct fundraisers, manage money, use parliamentary procedure to make decisions, and many other leadership skills.
Be a Teen Leader in Your County
Each county offers a variety of opportunities for 4-H members to get involved beyond their club. Talk to your local 4-H staff to find out what you could do, such as serve on advisory councils, plan county, 4-H events, serve as mentors, help promote 4-H or teach 4-H programs ... depending on the teen leadership role that fits you best!
4-H teens age 13 to 18 may join the county 4-H Federation. Members help plan county events, service projects, and workshops. Federation members provide valuable youth voice and perspective into decision affecting the county 4-H program.