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Annual event gathers adult 4-H volunteers
MISSISSIPPI STATE – About 200 volunteers who care deeply about the state’s young people will gather in Starkville for leadership training Feb. 22 and 23.
The annual 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference will be held at the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University. Mississippi 4-H is the youth development program of the MSU Extension Service.
This volunteer development conference, supported by Monsanto and National 4-H Council, will bring 4-H leaders together to network and learn about innovative programs that can bring fresh perspectives and activities to 4-H programs across Mississippi.
“Conferences each year are excellent opportunities for 4-H volunteers, Extension faculty and friends of 4-H to hone their leadership skills and form relationships with others who share their passion for youth development,” said Harvey Gordon, Extension 4-H youth development specialist.
Workshops and funshops give participants the skills and resources they need to help young people reach their potential and become better decision makers. Each year, about 8,000 adults in Mississippi volunteer their time to teach the state’s 95,000 4-H club members important life skills through a variety of clubs and activities.
This year’s conference theme is Mississippi 4-H: The Green Promise. Funding for the leadership training was made possible in part by a $5,500 grant from Monsanto.
Among the conference highlights are the recognition of outstanding volunteers, office elections and three sessions that offer choices from among 31 different workshop topics.
4-H volunteers work without pay, and attending the workshop costs them time, registration fees and lodging expenses. Twelve partial scholarships were available to encourage volunteers to come from counties that have not previously attended this training conference.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to the work they do with youth, even when there is a personal cost to them,” Gordon said. “Conference organizers have done all they can to ensure that this event will offer significant leadership and personal development opportunities.”