Category Archives: 4-H / Youth

97th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress inspires true leaders

4-H members on drillfield standing in the shape of a 4-H clover

Virginia 4-H State Congress is the leading, statewide annual 4-H event for 4-H members and volunteer leaders.

More than 500 4-H’ers and adult volunteers will converge on Virginia Tech’s campus for the 97th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress to take place June 19-22.

Virginia 4-H State Congress is the leading, statewide annual 4-H event for 4-H members and volunteer leaders. Its mission is to provide competitive and non-competitive educational experiences to Virginia teens and the adults who work with them, helping them to develop life skills and leadership abilities to become contributing citizens in their communities.

Participants customize their 4-H State Congress experience by selecting activities from the dozens of workshops, showcases, and competitions offered. The activities provided cover topics such as communication and expressive arts, citizenship, healthy living, leadership, service learning, career/economic education, animal science, STEM, and environmental/outdoor education.

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Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show in Abingdon, Virginia on May 10

The 2017 Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show will take place May 10, at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abingdon, Virginia. The 73rd annual show will begin with the steer exhibition at 9 a.m.

The event is a partnership between Virginia Cooperative Extension and University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension, and it includes 4-H and FFA members from both Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

Youth exhibitors will compete in steer, heifer, and showmanship classes; project record books; and an educational beef skill-a-thon, as well as for college scholarships. Participants have been caring for their project animals for several months in preparation for the show.

The Bristol Junior Steer and Heifer Show is a time-honored event that started in downtown Bristol in 1944. Goals of the event include teaching youths about the beef cattle industry, where their food comes from, and life skills. Participants learn responsibility, decision-making, communication, relationship building, and teamwork.

For more information, contact Walter Malone in the Sullivan County Extension Office at 423-279-2723. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.

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4-H pledges to re-engage millions of alumni to grow 4-H: ‘Raise Your Hand’ if you are a 4-H alum from Virginia

4-H’ers learn by doing with the guidance of caring adults and volunteers.

4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, is calling on all 4-H alumni to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including more than 240,800 young people ages 5 to 19 in Virginia.

As part of the “Raise Your Hand” call to action, which will take place through June 30, 4-H is asking the millions of 4‑H alumni across the nation, including 4-H alums in Virginia, to raise their hands to help pay it forward so 4-H can continue to provide the hands-on learning that empowers kids across America.

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Interns gain experience while serving the community

Each summer, Virginia Cooperative Extension offers more than 40 college students and recent graduates the opportunity to work on a team that changes people’s lives and betters communities.

Aldyn Abell, a 2015 Extension intern, spent her summer at the Extension office in Orange County. Among her numerous responsibilities, she helped plan and deliver ocean-themed lessons at 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp.

Aldyn Abell, a 2015 Extension intern, spent her summer at the Extension office in Orange County. Among her numerous responsibilities, she helped plan and deliver ocean-themed lessons at 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp.

Through the 10-week program, interns work alongside Extension faculty members gaining experience in youth development, agriculture and natural resources, and family and consumer sciences.

Thomas Vasilopoulos, a 2015 intern, spent his summer with the Extension office in Arlington County. Although he was double majoring in integrated science and technology and Spanish, he found himself doing all sorts of tasks within the office, including helping to design programs and teach children at three different schools.

“They didn’t really hesitate to give me a lot of responsibilities,” Vasilopoulos said. “Extension hired me to make a positive impact in this office, and that’s what I wanted to do.”

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Brian Hairston recognized for commitment to youth mentoring

Lopez presents Hairston the youth mentoring award

Cody Lopez, associate director for programming for College Mentors for Kids (right) presents Brian Hairston, Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development agent in Henry County/Martinsville, the Inspire Award for Youth Mentoring award.

College Mentors for Kids presented Brian Hairston, Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development agent in Henry County/Martinsville, its Youth Mentoring award as part of its 2017 Inspire Awards celebration held Feb. 23 in Indianapolis. Seven inspiring community leaders were named Mentors of the Year for mentoring excellence in the workplace and community by College Mentors for Kids.

Hairston was recognized by multiple mentees for mentoring through the 4-H program. “Brian Hairston is one of the most inspiring, down to earth people I know. He not only pushes you to go beyond your limited, but he is there with a helping hand along the way. He sees your abilities and potential before you do and never gives up on the bright future he sees ahead for you. Mr. Hairston has opened many doors for me by making me escape my comfort zone to go above and beyond in order to reach my goals.”

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