“The Youth Advisory Committee is a group of passionate young 4-H alumni from across the country who work alongside National 4-H Council to promote the 4-H program. We strive to share the stories of 4-H grown leaders and innovators and inspire the next generation of 4-H youth. As alumni, we understand the incredibly influential role 4-H can play in a child’s life, and our goal is to ensure that young alumni and others understand the value of investing in the lives of our future leaders.”
I have the pleasure of serving on the inaugural Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). We are now launching our first fundraising campaign to help inspire the next generation True Leaders. Through this, we hope to bring the power of 4-H to millions more youth and young 4-H alumni. Recognizing the various levels and goals of 4-H, we have developed the following model: when you give, 60% of your donation will go towards the 4-H Grows campaign; 20% goes directly back into state 4-H programs and the final 20% will support a YAC-chosen cause. The first cause chosen is recovery efforts for hurricane Maria in my homeland of Puerto Rico.
My 4-H Story
"You still do 4-H?" That's a question I have gotten more times than I can remember. To be completely honest, I just love the mission of 4-H; but above that, my family owes a lot to this program. 4-H has shaped 3 generations of my family. As a young boy, my grandfather joined a 4-H club in Puerto Rico. Through the program he developed skills and interests that lifted him from poverty and took him to the University of Puerto Rico to become an agronomist. He became a successful extension professional with a family of his own. As a youth, my mom joined 4-H. Through 4-H she go the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for Citizenship Washington Focus and develop skills that eventually saw her become an agronomist, like her father before her, and lead 4-H clubs in Puerto Rico. Now the third generation: me and my sisters. We began our 4-H story in Puerto Rico, accompanying our mom to all her events, field trips and club meetings. Ten years later, many things have changed, but our love for 4-H has only grown.
When I was 10 years old, my family made the difficult decision to relocate to Florida from Puerto Rico. We were forced to leave everything we had known and loved for our entire lives to search for greater economic opportunity. Facing the challenges of a new school, a new place and even a new language, the one constant was 4-H. Having that foundation of familiarity gave me the confidence and drive to succeed in my new situation. Subsequently, I became very involved in leadership and citizenship programs through Florida 4-H. To this day, I make it my mission to promote the 4-H program to those around me. 4-H has helped me develop critical skills and find my passions. I truly believe if every child was raised in the 4-H program, we would live in an exceptional world. Now it is my turn to help make that happen for our communities, our countries and our world.
Through my first year on the YAC, I’ve met some incredible individuals and heard their 4-H stories. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that 4-H will always provide what an individual needs. It adapts and presents opportunity in the way that will be most beneficial for each individual. Please help 4-H continue to be what millions of youth need. Join the Youth Advisory Committee in ensuring the longevity and impact of our beloved program!