Shelby Carlson provides leadership to the 4-H youth development program focusing on 4-H clubs, 4-H groups, and the youth education initiatives identified as state and local priorities in Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren counties. Carlson joined University of Illinois Extension in 2018. Teaming with local 4-H program coordinators and volunteers, she plans, conducts, and evaluates programs that are consistent with the needs of local youth. Carlson provides programming related to college and career readiness, leadership, social and emotional learning, and more in addition to her work with 4-H clubs.
Carlson graduated from Western Illinois University-Quad Cities with a bachelor's degree in communication and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign with a master's degree in agriculture education with an emphasis on leadership. She is a native of Knox County, where she was a 10-year 4-H member.
As a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer, Carlson teaches those who regularly interact with youth how to help adolescents age 12 to 18 experiencing mental health or addictions challenge or those who are in crisis. Carlson is additionally certified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace.
She is a member of the Extension Disaster Education Network, National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals, and the Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education where she serves as the Vice President.