Preparing youth to become tomorrow's leaders

We are focused on helping youth explore their individual areas of interest and providing programs to help them become tomorrow's leaders in their communities. By working in small groups, with local school districts, our community partners, and numerous volunteers we are able to provide the programs listed below. For further information on a program, please contact Shelby Carlson, 4-H Youth Development Educator.

Bi-County Youth Coalition

Teen leaders from Henderson and Warren County meet monthly under the guidance of mentors from University of Illinois Extension, Bridgeway, and the community to plan events benefiting their schools and community. “Yo-Co” has a special focus on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. This group of teen leaders hosts many events such as the Teen Leadership Conference for freshman from Henderson and Warren Counties, 8th grade orientation, and a dodgeball tournament.

Keep up to date with what’s going on with Yo-Co on Facebook.

Macomb Youth Leadership Organization

A partnership between University of Illinois Extension, Macomb High School, and the McDonough County Chamber of Commerce, the Macomb Youth Leadership Organization is a three year program focused on the development of future community leaders. In MYLO, we build leaders who want to come back to Macomb to live and work! Macomb High School students first learn about the community they live in through a series of monthly tours and speakers. They partner with a professional working in their own community, and develop a service project to give back.

Welcome to the Real World

The Welcome to the Real World program is for middle and high school youth. Students learn about and then try their hands at making tough choices such as what career to pursue, what car to buy, where to live, and how to pay their bills based on the life decisions they've made. The curriculum can be adapted a number of ways and be taught by regular classroom teachers or by youth development professionals.

Career and money management fact sheets and activities help to expand knowledge gained through the simulation. The simulation models a month in the life of the real world where students make real money decisions. This financial literacy curriculum is a local favorite!

Career Shadow and Health Occupations Day

For over 30 years, youth in Henderson and Warren County have been able to explore potential careers by spending a day shadowing community professionals. By working closely with school guidance counselors and community partners, interested juniors in high school are partnered with a local professional with a passion for sharing their career path.

Students interested in health occupations are able to practice hands on learning while complying with federal privacy laws by attending a University of Illinois Extension run and sponsored Health Occupations Day. Health care professionals from across the region provide an overview of their career path along with hands on learning that would be impossible in a health care setting.

Steele Public Speaking

Teachers at Steele Elementary School noticed their students continuously performed poorly in a district contest that focused on life skills such as public speaking, conversation, leadership, and more. Using the concept of Youth Sparks and Thriving developed by the Search Institute, youth development professionals introduced these skills to students while allowing positive relationships to be formed. The Steele Public Speaking Program is one example of how local educators can work with Extension staff to meet emerging needs.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Interested in learning more about 4-H but not sure where to start? Complete this interest survey to find the 4-H group that's just right for you. If you're already a member, you'll find everything you're looking for in the links below.