New 4-H specialist strengthens Southern Illinois youth STEM education initiative

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 guide the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

In January, Illinois Extension and 4-H welcomed Wyatt Miller to serve as 4-H youth development educator in  Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion, and Washington counties.

Wyatt Miller

“We are very excited to add Wyatt to our team as youth development educator to complete our local team of topic experts,” says County Director Jordee Koehler. “He will be able to collaborate with community members and area leaders to provide programming that supports our youth by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and abilities which will ultimately help them thrive.”

Miller will provide leadership to the youth and development program that supports 4-H clubs and special interest groups, as well as educational programs in Southern Illinois. He is looking forward to connecting with local youth and volunteers and expanding opportunities across the five-county unit.

“I’m looking forward to empowering youth and getting to know the community,” Miller says. “I’m a lifetime learner and hope to meet local needs by bringing diverse and inclusive programming that is backed by current science.”

Miller joins the University of Illinois Extension with a background in science education programming. Most recently he developed and delivered animal science and environmental programming for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. He has also worked with the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and National Science Foundation in youth science programming.

Miller has a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Theater from Illinois State University.

Miller is based in the Washington County office and can be reached at or (618) 327-8881.

University of Illinois 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.

WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

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.

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.