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Educator helps youth discover passions through 4-H experiences

Danielle Gapinski

URBANA, Ill. — Illinois 4-H strives to unlock the potential in every young person, helping them to dream, plan, design, build, and achieve. Around the state, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development staff help guide the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

After serving as a 4-H program coordinator in Bureau County, Danielle Gapinski transitioned to the 4-H youth development educator role, serving Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside counties earlier this year. Previous positions in event marketing, graphic design, and dance direction all positioned Danielle to gain invaluable experience coordinating, marketing, and executing youth programming. Her participation in 4-H during her youth helped her recognize the program's value and cultivate a passion for helping others learn about the opportunities offered.

“I hope to provide new and diverse opportunities, in a safe and nurturing environment, for youth throughout the counties where I serve,” says Gapinski. “I hope that through these offerings, youth will be able to explore new subjects and find their own passions that could turn into new hobbies or even career pathways.”

Gapinski has a Bachelor of Science in graphic design with a minor in business management and administration from Bradley University and a Master of Science in agricultural leadership, education, and communications from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has served on the Princeton Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission, Bureau Valley Brainstorm Advisory/Sustainability Committee and is a member of the University of Illinois Extension 4-H Professional Development Committee.

SOURCE: Danielle Gapinski, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Illinois Extension

WRITER: Dolan Klein, Sr. Manager for Marketing and Communications,

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. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.