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4-H workshops explore passions and leadership skills in local young people

MARSHALL (Feb 2022) Minnesota 4-H held the Southwest Regional BLU and TEEL leadership workshops on Saturday, February 19th at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall for 61 youth from across our region.

Youth from across Minnesota gathered to participate in the annual 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) and Teens Engaged in Emerging Leadership (TEEL) workshops. Five regional BLU and TEEL leadership events were held across the state. BLU was facilitated by youth leaders from the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador program and TEEL was led by older 4-H youth leaders and 4-H alumni. The events were also supported by a team of adult chaperones.

This year’s workshop theme was “Find Your Path,” which taught participants to identify and find their passions and learn how they can use those passions on their journeys to becoming leaders. The youth engaged in small group discussions, educational workshops, and large group activities to meet other young people from throughout the region. The youth also learned about food insecurity, and how they can help others who are food insecure within their communities. 

BLU focuses on youth who are in middle school to help them develop their leadership skills. TEEL focuses on the high school age youth to help them take their leadership skills to the next level and help them look deeper into their journeys as leaders

Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H BLU leadership workshops are developed and led by 4-H State Ambassadors and Minnesota 4-H youth who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H. Their purpose is to educate youth and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, teamwork and other invaluable life skills. To challenge the older youth that attend, TEEL it is designed and facilitated by a team of older youth and young adult leaders to build on the leadership skills older youth have developed at BLU and through their lived experience both within and outside of 4-H. 4-H staff from the area also plan components of BLU and TEEL to bring a regional perspective to the statewide focus.

 To learn more about 4-H in Kandiyohi County, contact Rachel Mitchell, at 320-231-7890 and visit the website, www.4-H.umn.edu.

About Extension 4-H: 4-H is a youth development program of the University of Minnesota Extension.  Available for youth grades K-1 year after high school, 4-H’ers participate in hands-on learning experiences in STEM, citizenship & leadership, animal science, creative arts and much more. Through this unique learn-by-doing process, youth obtain essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, coping and communicating that help them succeed in their school, college, community and career. Research shows that youth who participate in 4-H have better grades and are more emotionally engaged with school, are more than twice as likely to be civically active and contribute to their communities, and are 47% less likely to have risky or problem behaviors.

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