Thirteen Nebraska 4-H members traveled to the 102nd National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, GA, held November 24-28, 2023. This year’s conference theme — “Unforgettable Past, Innovative Future” — focused on leadership, citizenship, global awareness, and inclusion.
National 4-H Congress is the premier leadership event for 4-H members between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. Nebraska delegates are selected for the trip to National 4-H Congress by submitting an Achievement Application for state competition.
Nebraska 4-H members joined youth from across the nation which brought together over 800 young people from across the country. Youth participated in service-learning projects; international education, including an international night; and a variety of workshops to expand their skills, while being inspired to make an impact on their club, community, and country.
"My favorite part was the community service that we did -- there were a bunch of community service projects that everyone at the conference did," shared Kaylee Powell, a 4-H participant in Hall County. "I was able to go with a bunch of other 4-H'ers, and also another Nebraska 4-H'er, and we went into a local elementary school and taught 4th grade math. So that was cool to bring skills that we had, here from Nebraska, and take it to students there."
The group, made up of high school students and a few college freshmen, attended numerous educational workshops, cultural events, and completed service-learning projects while in Atlanta. Attendees heard nationally known speakers, including Amberly Snyder, motivational speaker and barrel racer; Dan Clark, New York Times Best Selling Author; Chris Boleman, CEO & President of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; and Dr. Dionne Toombs, Associate Director for Programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; among others.
"At 4-H Congress, I learned a lot about community and leadership skills. We did a lot of workshops together -- a lot of team building and practicing communication skills," said Austin Kamm, a 4-H participant in Cuming County.
Highlights of the five-day trip included a tour of Atlanta, visits to the Atlanta History Center, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, the College Football Hall of Fame, and other attractions. Youth were accompanied by Nebraska 4-H Extension Educator, Dawn Lindsley, and Martin Wiese, a 4-H volunteer from Dodge County.
For more information National 4-H Congress, please visit 4h.unl.edu/congress.