4‑H members learn how to turn projects into professions

Urbana, Ill. – Illinois 4-H members gained skills on turning their projects into professions at a virtual College & Career Readiness Workshop hosted on March 22.

The Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team created the concept for the workshop and planned the event.

“When we first began planning this workshop, we reminisced about all the amazing opportunities and experiences we as a committee have had through 4-H,” says Youth Leadership Team workshop facilitator Beth Warden of Cass County. “From our collective appreciation for all 4-H has done for us, the idea to help others learn how to use their 4-H experiences as they embark on this new part of their life was born. Our goal was to help 4-H members learn how they can share these experiences in a variety of ways as they begin their journey to college or a career.”

Youth Leadership Team members also served as organizers and facilitators for the event.

“4-H has helped me in my college planning by providing me with resources to make the best decision for my college choice that will best fit my future career goals,” says Youth Leadership Team member Ross Vancil of Henderson County. “The team wanted to host the College and Career Readiness Workshop to assist high school students in preparing for the future by learning about choosing a college, what career would suit you, and how to make scholarships look appealing to others. We also wanted to teach kids how to make a resume and how to include 4-H activities on them.”

Each participant worked individually with members of the Youth Leadership Team to explore careers connected to projects, build their resume, and learn how to be successful in scholarship applications.

“During the workshop we focused on applying for college and scholarships, turning your passion into profession, interviewing skills, and resume building,” says Youth Leadership Team workshop facilitator Caroline Ahrends of Logan County. “During the workshop the participants had the opportunity to get personalized help on their resumes as well as receive feedback after a short mock interview. We asked the participants to tell us about some 4-H projects they were passionate about and we discussed how those projects might apply to future careers.”

The workshop was for juniors and seniors in high school with facilitators from the Youth Leadership Team, Beth Warden of Cass County and Caroline Ahrends of Logan County. 

Participants included: Meredith Dady, Winnebago County; Ellie Reppe, DuPage County; Ava Winternheimer, Hamilton County; Emilee Cox, Hamilton County; Kelly Eppel, Lake County; Ella Aly, Pope County; Elaan Bader, Montgomery County; Drew Glick, Wabash County; Noah Munoz-Lo, Cook County; Kailyn Williams, Sangamon County; Joseph Gates, White County; Callysta Borders, Union County; Edgar Jaime, Cook County; Monserrat Perez, Cook County; and Claire Hopkins, Winnebago County.

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences.4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. 

For Further Information, Contact:

Writers:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office, carissa7@illinois.edu

                Megan Eppel, Youth Leadership Team, Lake County