4-H clover

Ready, willing, and able describe the nearly 600 young Kentuckians who tackled various community service projects throughout Lexington and surrounding counties as part of 4-H Teen Conference this past summer.

4-H prides itself on developing young people into active, engaged leaders. The community service project was a new opportunity for the teens attending the leadership development conference to learn how to lead through service.  The project was made possible by a grant from the Bluegrass Community Foundation and conference sponsor Farm Credit Mid-America.

“We were able to partner with organizations that educated 4-H'ers about their mission, so they could see the types of services that are provided in Lexington and get ideas to take home as well,” said Rachel Noble, extension specialist for 4-H youth development.

Kentucky 4-H'ers (l-r): Kayla Mohon, Raymond Carter, and Debbie Myers, pick up litter in a downtown Lexington neighborhood as part of their community service project with Bluegrass Greensource
Kentucky 4-H'ers (l-r): Kayla Mohon, Raymond Carter, and Debbie Myers, pick up litter in a downtown Lexington neighborhood as part of their community service project with Bluegrass Greensource.

Partnering with more than 30 nonprofits in all, youth did everything from helping mulch areas of the Kentucky Horse Park to picking up litter in Lexington neighborhoods.

Like many 4-H'ers, Debbie Myers, 2017-2018 state 4-H president and current CAFE student majoring in agricultural economics, does not plan to stop giving back anytime soon.

“This was a great opportunity for us to learn the importance of giving back,” she said. “It will help us develop into the leaders and citizens we need to be.”

-- Katie Pratt