Michigan Teens Win Scholarship to Improve Community
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The project will clean and beautify local ecosystems.

Michigan Teens Win Scholarship to Improve Community

While some teens were spending their summers chasing Pokémon, a group of youth from Michigan visited Washington, D.C. to develop a community action plan at National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus. Out of all of the groups that created plan, Farm Credit chose the plan developed by the Michigan youth as the most impactful, and awarded the teen team with $500 to enact their project back in the community.

With many lakes and rivers throughout Michigan being polluted, the 4-H delegation has created a community action plan to coordinate an annual lake cleanup using statewide involvement. The initial work will occur at Lake Erie, but additional events will branch out to community lakes. The secondary focus of the teens’ project is to educate communities on the negative impacts pollution has on the local eco systems.

For more than 50 years, National 4-H Youth Conference Center has invited 4-H members from across the country to travel to Washington, D.C. and participate in civic workshops, committees, and field trips before returning home to make positive changes in their own communities. During CWF, youth experienced a behind-the-scenes look at the nation’s capital while meeting with members of congress to learn more about how their government works. At the end of the program, youth drafted step-by-step action plans to address important issues in their communities.

“The action plan developed by the teens from Michigan is a great example of how youth are taking the skills they are learning in 4-H and applying them to real world issues,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “These teens exemplify the confidence, independence, resilience and compassion that develop in our 4-H’ers across the country.”

“It is great to see this group of young 4-H leaders dedicated to protecting Michigan’s shorelines,” said Ian McGonigal, senior vice president of sales for GreenStone Farm Credit Services and board member of the Michigan 4-H Foundation. “We are pleased to support their efforts in making a positive impact on rural communities across Michigan.”

Since 2011, Farm Credit has provided scholarships for diverse and underserved youth to participate in CWF. The partnership has allowed Farm Credit and 4-H to positively impact approximately 60 youth annually. 

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