BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State 4-H Ambassadors joined other teen leaders from across the country at the 4-H Healthy Habits Conference and National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living to learn how to be advocates for promoting healthy lifestyle choices in their communities.
The 4-H Healthy Habits Conference was Feb. 12 -13 and the National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living was Feb. 13-16. Both events were held at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
State 4-H Ambassadors who attended the educational events were Brianna Duerre from Day County, Kayla Fischer from Day County and Hailie Stuck from Spink County. Fischer and Stuck both serve under the health and wellness priority area in the State 4-H Ambassador program where they are expected to engage their communities in proactive health initiatives and activities.
“I gained new friendships that are important to me. I also learned more about what I can do to help the wellbeing of those in my community. I am so proud to be part of the group that went. I came back feeling energized and motivated to share the information with others.”
This year, the summit hosted a series of wellness sessions focused on promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices that included food allergies, social and emotional health, physical health, health advocacy within communities and opioid prevention. Participants learned about methods to improve public health from prominent lifestyle and health experts. They also learned how to create action plans to implement in their communities and how to teach other youth about what they have learned.
The 4-H Healthy Habits Conference was a cohort effort for land grant universities and 4-H programs currently receiving the National 4-H Healthy Habits grant through the Walmart Foundation. SDSU Extension is currently in its third year of receiving the grant. The conference was an effort to provide support, education and professional development to those receiving the grant, including both youth and adults. In addition to the youth attendees from South Dakota, Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator, and Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor, also attended.
"It is exciting to see our 4-H members focus on the health of their local communities. Returning the Summit's lessons to our residents will strengthen our state in the years ahead."
The summit and conference were made possible through the Walmart Foundation 4-H Healthy Habits grant travel funds.
To learn more about the National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living or the State 4-H Ambassador Program contact Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor, by email or Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator, by email.
About South Dakota 4-H
SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state land-grant university and county resources through youth outreach activities. Youth learn about and experience leadership, health and wellness, science and agriculture through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts extended to an additional 35,000 youth participants.