Make a difference today and prepare critical skills for tomorrow.
4-H knows that youth are an important resource in our communities. 4-H doesn’t teach you to be leaders someday in the future; 4-H places you in meaningful leadership roles today and surrounds you with caring, supportive adults. 4-H sets teens up for success, but we also know that one size doesn't fit all. So, we've created six different teen leadership roles. You pick the role that fits you best! Do it and don't bother with the other parts of leadership which just aren't you! Each county offers a variety of opportunities for 4-H members to get involved beyond their club. Talk to your local 4-H staff to find out what you could do, such as serve on advisory councils, plan county, 4-H events, serve as mentors, help promote 4-H or teach 4-H programs ... depending on the teen leadership role that fits you best!
If you like all the little details that go into making an event successful, then the 4-H Teen Planner role is for you. You'll help improve 4-H in your county and state by working with staff to carry out shows, camps, contests, service opportunities and other events. As a Teen Planner, you'll have a voice in what happens in your county 4-H program. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A 4-H TEEN PLANNER: County 4-H Federation, County Planning Committees
If you are passionate and knowledgeable about 4-H and not afraid to tell the world, then the 4-H Teen Promoter role is for you. You may be asked to give a speech, talk to prospective members, or share your story with legislators and other stakeholders. Your main job is to present a positive image of 4-H... and isn't that easy! WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A TEEN PROMOTER: 4-H Ambassador, Speaking for Illinois 4-H. CLICK HERE to find out when the next Speaking for Illinois 4-H training will be held.
If you like to share your skill and knowledge with your peers in a group setting, then the 4-H Teen Teacher role is for you. Teen Teachers plan, teach and evaluate a progression of lessons for younger youth around lots of different topics. You'll gow your skills in listening, decision-making, and communicating while you become a more confident educator. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A TEEN TEACHER: Teen Teacher, Workshop Presenter. LEARN MORE HERE about becoming a 4-H Teen Teacher in your community.
If you've got what it takes to be a positive role model for younger youth, then the 4-H Teen Mentor role is for you. Teen Mentors teach important life skills while they try new things, all while having fun. As you gain the trust of kids in your care, you'll increase your own levels of leadership and responsibility. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A TEEN MENTOR: Camp Counselor, Tech Wizard Mentor, Cloverbud Leader, Junior Leader, 4-H Buddy
If you like standing up for what you believe so you can make positive changes in the world, then the 4-H Teen Advocate role is for you. Regardless of the topic, you'll work with local leaders and government officials to improve your community, while you gain skills in research, analysis, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork to bring youth voice to public issues. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A TEEN ADVOCATE: Change Advocate, Hunger Advocate, Citizen Scientist. ADVOCATE for the hungry in your community. BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST and add your research to other scientists.
If you like working with adults as partners in an organization, then the 4-H Teen Advisor role is for you. Teen Advisors serves as a youth voice on committees or councils which helps guide the local or state 4-H program or community advisory council. WHAT YOU MIGHT DO AS A TEEN ADVISOR: Local Committees, Extension Council, Expansion & Review Committee
Current Open Applications
- Illinois State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team. DOWNLOAD HERE
- Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education Committee Application. DOWNLOAD HERE
- Illinois Youth Leadership Team Application. DOWNLOAD HERE
Be a Teen Leader in Your Club
All 4-H Clubs create opportunities to develop and use leadership skills. In some clubs, members will elect officers such as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Other clubs might have chairs of sub-committees, such as a design team and programming team in a Robotics Special Interest Club. Additional examples include opportunities for youth to mentor other members, plan events, conduct fundraisers, manage money, use parliamentary procedure to make decisions, and many other leadership skills.