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Message from Dorothy: In 4-H, our youth grow the skills they need to lead

Dear 4-H families and volunteers,

Our greatest hope as parents and loving family members is for our children to grow into confident and passionate adults. We all want our children to thrive.

4-H is a wonderful place for our children to grow up, where they build the skills to lead in their schools, among their friends, in our communities, and throughout life. In 4-H, youth learn to lead with both confidence and passion.

When youth have meaningful opportunities to lead through service, the outcomes are great. Research shows that youth leaders have an increased sense of personal and social responsibility, greater problem-solving skills, more positive attitudes toward adults, and are more likely to be involved in their community throughout life. Ensuring our youth have many opportunities to lead and contribute is a worthy endeavor!

Kendra, a 7-year-old 4-H’er in Watonwan County, took an important leadership step last summer when she gave a demonstration about making healthy and tasty trail mix. She served her community by sharing helpful information and learned that her voice could make a difference.

Maggie, a 16-year-old 4-H’er in Murray County, attended a retreat last winter where she learned about the value of different strengths and perspectives. Her discoveries at that 4-H retreat gave her the courage and drive to help younger 4-H’ers share their strengths and develop their own ability to lead.

True leaders aren’t born, they are grown. If you would like to engage your child in opportunities to lead and serve, the choices in 4-H are plentiful.

In Minnesota 4-H, we are committed to growing youth into confident and passionate leaders.


Dorothy M. Freeman
Associate dean and state 4-H director

Citation: Scales, P.C. and Leffert, N. (1999) Developmental Assets. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.

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