Skip to main content

Grundy 4-H alumnus named Senior Program Lead for Positive Youth Development

Kevin Carey Headshot - 4-H Grown

URBANA, Ill – Illinois 4-H announced last week that Dr. Kevin Carey, Grundy County native, 4-H alumnus, and current Dean of Students for Campus Life at Illinois Wesleyan University, will serve as the Sr. Program Lead for Positive Youth Development at Illinois 4-H.

“I am so excited to share that Dr. Kevin Carey is joining Illinois 4-H to serve as the Sr. Program Lead for Positive Youth Development,” says Dr. Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H, “Kevin started his leadership journey as a 4-H member from Grundy County, Illinois, and then as a member of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team. As an alum, Kevin continued to volunteer for Illinois 4-H, including twelve years on the IL 4-H Foundation Board.”

In this new role, Carey will lead a talented team of specialists and will oversee the positive youth development components of the 4-H program throughout the state.

A Grundy County native and the son of Tim and Belinda Carey of Kinsman, Carey was heavily involved in 4-H – both locally and at the state and national level.  He was an 11-year 4-H member of the Highland Ag 4-H Club in Verona/Kinsman, showing cattle and various general projects.

Even after graduating from the 4-H program, Carey remained involved with 4-H throughout his professional career, serving on the IL 4-H Foundation Board of Directors, volunteering at events, and more.  

4-H, for Carey, provided an avenue for self-expression and career development opportunities.  Showing cattle and sheep at the Grundy fair and through the many leadership opportunities 4-H provided, Carey learned the importance of leadership and community.  He is now excited to give back to a new generation of 4-H members:

"The 4-H organization has always been a part of my life. My local 4-H experience in Grundy County made a critical difference in my learning and growth,” says Dr. Carey, “4-H has never left me as I have walked through my life, and I will continue to serve authentically and with humility as we work together for our youth! I hope we can continue to work together to advance opportunities for our youth at home and across the state to learn critical skills for developing who they are as individuals!"

Carey is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Ball State University, and the University of Illinois where he received his doctorate in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Diversity and Equity. He brings extensive experience in both 4-H and higher educational leadership.

4-H is the largest youth development organization in Illinois, providing programming in all 102 Illinois counties and over 200,000 youth development experiences for Illinois youth.  The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and gives them opportunities to thrive.

For information about 4-H in your county, contact your local Extension office or visit


Source: Carissa Nelson, Dr. Lisa Diaz, Brooke Katcher

Writer:  Anthony Warmack

About Illinois 4-H:  Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension. 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.

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.