CHAMPAIGN, 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 are guiding the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

In October, Kasey Sanders joined Illinois Extension as a 4-H youth development educator serving Clay, Effingham, Fayette, and Jasper counties in south central Illinois. She will create, provide, and oversee research-based programs for area youth through 4-H clubs and other outreach activities.

“We are very excited to have Kasey joining us to complete our local 4-H team,” says Illinois Extension County Director Carl Baker. “She brings great educational experience that will help us bring positive youth programs to the area.”

Sanders comes to Illinois 4-H after first working with Illinois Extension in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion counties helping with the 2014 summer 4-H programs. She worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a 4-H educator. Now, Sanders hopes to continue that work by providing a safe space for youth to try something new, learn from failed experiences, and to mentor their peers.

“I have always loved working with kids and helping them learn in new and fun ways,” Sanders says. “Illinois Extension and 4-H gives the youth of our communities a chance to experience new opportunities and experiences to grow as our future leaders”

Sanders is an Iroquois County native and a 2010 graduate from Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Educator. Sanders returned to EIU to receive a Masters of Science in Education. Sanders can be reached at klsande2@illinois.edu.

Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families, and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

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 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.