Celebrating the Impact

Like many of you, I am confident that our contributions to Virginia 4-H are wise investments in Mary Millerthe future. We know that investing in leadership development pays big dividends. Regardless of the curriculum, our programs teach leadership and responsibility in a very effective manner. I know our programs have a lasting impact for the good of individuals, communities, and the world. I don’t require proof that our programs make a difference; I know they do.

So, imagine my delight when I recently received a number of handwritten notes from participants in the Teen Excellence in Leadership Institute, TELI. TELI, as many of you know, is a leadership program offered to senior teens as they prepare to participate in their communities as adults. Over a number of months, the program helps teens understand their strengths and the power of networking. Teens learn how to become effective leaders in their communities, by participating in hands-on projects that focus on issues and advocacy. I am proud to say that the program has just completed its second year, with outstanding results.

Several participants shared their appreciation through personal notes. One wrote, “We discovered our strengths, learning styles, conversation styles, and etiquette.” Another wrote, “I have learned many things about myself and how I can improve my leadership skills. I will use these skills for the rest of my life.” A third note summed up the sentiment expressed by many: “I intend to teach my peers and take on leadership roles for the betterment of my community.”

Bravo, TELI, bravo!

As chair of the Virginia 4-H Foundation, I thank you for joining with me in investing in our youth. While there is always more to do, sometimes it is appropriate to pause and celebrate that our contributions have a lasting impact. I hope TELI’s participants’ words speak to you as strongly as they spoke to me. Our success is a collective effort.

One participant closed his note by saying, “Thank you for investing in me.”

I’ll close mine by saying thank you for investing in 4-H. Your contributions make a difference each and every day.

All the best,

Mary Guy Miller

Chair, Virginia 4-H Foundation Board



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