New 4-H educator ready to support youth, teens in western suburbs

ST. CHARLES, 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 June, Leilah Siegel joined Illinois Extension as a 4-H youth development educator serving DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties in northern Illinois. She will create, provide, and oversee research-based programs for area youth through 4-H clubs and other outreach activities.

“We are excited to welcome Leilah to the team and look forward to the leadership and experience she adds to the tri-county 4-H program,” says Extension County Director Deanna Roby-Vorgias. “Her skills and specialties will not only be an asset to our team but will make a positive impact on our youth and communities."

Siegel comes to Illinois 4-H with 17 years of education experience working for institutions such as Harvard Medical School, DePaul University, University of Illinois Chicago, and University of Illinois Extension. During that time, her work focused on STEM, health, nutrition, and physical fitness education.

“All of these play a role in positive youth development and relate to the four Hs of head, heart, hands, and health,” says Siegel. “My goal is to use my background and experiences to help empower young people to be their best selves.”

A native of Markham, Ill., Siegel earned a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from University of Pennsylvania. She also returned to school to complete her master’s degree in human nutrition at University of Illinois Chicago. Currently, she lives in DuPage County. Siegel is based in the Kane County Extension office in St. Charles and can be reached at or (630) 584-6166.

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.

WRITER: Rosie Ralston, publicity and promotion associate, University of Illinois Extension – DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties

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

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.