Oswego County Youth Takes Unique Approach to Leadership

Savanna Yerdon

Savanna Yerdon

WEST MONROE, NY – It’s no secret that today’s youth feel pressure.

Pressure to excel in school, go to college, get a job, etc.

Savanna Yerdon
Savanna Yerdon

How they overcome those pressures is a true testament to their character.

Take West Monroe native Savanna Yerdon for example.

Savanna, 18, credits her enrollment in 4-H, the nation’s largest youth organization, to helping her overcome adversity and build confidence along the way.

The life skills taught through 4-H helped Savanna learn to work with others, overcome challenges and complete jobs once she started them.

Savanna took advantage of the breadth of programs 4-H offers, from science and agriculture to business and creative arts.

“My mom encouraged me to join because she thought I would enjoy being around others who liked horses,” said Savanna, who has been a part of 4-H since she was 7. “My involvement with 4-H has helped me learn a lot of skill sets, including more about veterinary science.”

Aside from animals, Savanna’s 4-H participation has included gaining presentation and communications skills.

“4-H has definitely helped me become more comfortable having conversations at school and with new people,” she said.

America needs more true leaders focused on today’s challenges, as well as the issues of tomorrow. A recent survey by National 4-H Council found that 71 percent of today’s youth view leadership as something they can practice and improve over time.

But those same youth need supportive adults to help them along the way.

4-H brings a community together to grow true leaders – helping build confidence, teamwork, curiosity and resilience.

“The volunteers and leaders in my club really go above and beyond to help all of us, whether we’re competing in drills or practicing presentation skills,” said Savanna.

Any child can grow with 4-H, an organization that has something for every interest. But, 4-H is always looking for adult volunteers and funding to help expand their reach and empower young people through doing.

To find out more about helping 4-H in your area, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension or visit 4H.org.