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National 4-H Congress delegates gain leadership skills

The National 4-H Congress is one of several national and statewide leadership development opportunities available to North Dakota youth through 4-H.

Attending the 2022 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, was an experience of a lifetime for four North Dakota delegates. The delegates were Marit Ellingson, Amilia Lillehaugen and Andrew Myrdahl from Walsh County and Alex Lahlum from LaMoure County. Becca Yarger, North Dakota State University Extension agent from Dunn County served as chaperone.

“My experience at National 4-H Congress was unforgettable and helped develop leadership skills I can apply at the county, state and national levels,” says Ellingson. “The workshops and speakers stressed the importance of giving back to those around you, being a positive figure in the lives of others, and finding joy in difficult circumstances.”

The four North Dakota delegates joined more than 800 youth from across the U.S. in workshops that helped them improve their leadership skills. Congress delegates heard from nationally and internationally recognized speakers, took part in a service-learning projects and experienced local culture through visits to locations such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Change and the Atlanta Zoo.

“During my time at National 4-H Congress, my perspective on the world changed considerably from what it's like in the small state of North Dakota,” says Lahlum. “On top of having a fantastic time with everyone and meeting people at Congress, the service project I did at the elementary school touched me, as I felt I made a difference in the lives of these children.”

Lillehaugen came back with ideas to share with her own 4-H program in North Dakota.

“I learned so much about the different opportunities that are available through 4-H and how it can help me grow,” says Lillehaugen. “More youth need to know about these things.”

“This conference has made an incredible impact on my way of thinking, establishing personal and work goals, facilitating community collaboration, and most of all to be motivated to overcome obstacles,” says Yarger, the group’s chaperone.

The National 4-H Congress is one of several national and statewide leadership development opportunities available to North Dakota youth through 4-H.

Applications to serve as a 2023 delegate are due to the NDSU Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development by Aug. 1, 2023.

For more information, contact Rachelle Vettern, NDSU Extension leadership and volunteer development specialist, at 701-231-7541 or rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu.

4-H is a program of NDSU Extension. The North Dakota 4-H Foundation sponsored this educational opportunity.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Dec. 16, 2022

Source: Rachelle Vettern, 701-231-5391, rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-5391, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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