UF and Alachua County Youth Development Program Creates Next Generation of Leaders

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) — 4-H is UF’s youth development program in conjunction with Alachua County.

Each county in the state has a 4-H program that works with the nearest university.

The program works with young people between the ages of 5 and 18 to teach them approximately 35 life skills.

This goes through projects and programs such as creative arts, seed projects, leadership and citizenship.

A 4-H leader said the program initially focused on agriculture, but has now evolved into many different outlets.

“We keep growing, we’re adding more projects, more young people,” said Mary Lee Sale, 4-H extension worker. “We are the largest youth development organization and 4-H is the best known youth organization and I think that’s because of our ability to evolve and grow with the communities we serve. »

During the summer, 4-H hosts many different state events that feature the state council and the board of directors.

Alachua County has had 2 state officers in recent years.

Part of the program is called 4-H University and it will take place on the UF campus from July 25-28.

Teens across the state will participate in events, attend career-readiness workshops, elect state board officers, and more.

“So what we really like to focus on here in Alachua County is getting these kids involved in this state executive committee, or the state executive council to plan these summer events. . We have a lot of kids who are really good leaders in Alachua County, so I really like focusing on those kids and helping them develop their potential as much as possible,” Sale said.

Legislature 4-H also takes place every summer where youth ages 14-18 visit Tallahassee and have a mock legislative session where they turn bills into law.

The 4-H year begins September 1 and ends August 31.

CLICK HERE for more information on 4-H.

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