Tiles Show Youth Vision for Iowa 4-H

4-H tilesAMES, Iowa – “Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.” That’s one of the ways more than 600 Iowa teenagers describe their vision for the future of the 4-H Youth Development program in Iowa.

The teens, all delegates at the 2015 4-H Youth Conference earlier this summer, had been asked to draw or describe their vision, hopes and dreams for future 4-H activities and opportunities -- one 6”x6” ceramic tile at a time.

The teens created about 600 tiles, said Brenda Allen, a 4-H youth program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. A selection of those tiles were on display in the 4-H Exhibits Building during the 2015 Iowa State Fair.

“The tiles demonstrate the diversity of ideas of Iowa 4-H’ers and their exciting vision,” Allen said. “We’ll be keeping this vision in mind as we strive to meet the needs of Iowa’s young people through 4-H Youth Development educational programming.”

Groups of the vision-filled tiles will be on display at ISU Extension and Outreach county offices throughout the state, Allen said.

“I think that the vision tiles were a great opportunity for the delegates to express their thoughts and give feedback to the 4-H program in a creative and fun way. This allowed our State 4-H Youth Council to see what areas should be improved upon and which areas delegates currently found productive,” said Plymouth County 4-H’er Cali Westergard, 2015 4-H Youth Conference co-chair.

Nearly 1,000 teenagers converged on the Iowa State University campus for the 2015 4-H Youth Conference “Dare to Discover.” They enjoyed three full days of speakers, workshops, mixers, dances, a banquet and community service activities. Participants also had the chance to experience campus life and meet new people from across the state.

“Whether they already were 4-H members or hadn’t participated in 4-H activities before, youth had the opportunity to learn new things to take back to their community and school, and in the process may have even discovered something new about themselves,” Allen said.

Conference participants also had fun as they participated in special learning tracks, including ROUND-UP featuring animal science, CSI: Crops showcasing agronomy, and Iowa 4-H Youth Camera Corps, teaching photo skills and putting them to work through the workshops.


[PHOTO]  Using 600 ceramic tiles as their canvas, Iowa teens drew and described their vision, hopes and dreams for future 4-H activities and opportunities during the 2015 4-H Youth Conference earlier this summer.