Approximately 16 New Jersey 4-H members are ready to take on the challenges of leadership after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle school youth. The program is to be held on July 17 through 21 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. 

The New Jersey delegates who attended the conference were: Leah Welch and Brett Pietrowicz of Bergen County; Cody McBride from Burlington County; Savannah Brannan of Camden County; Larsen Del Collo, Alexis Hider, and Emily Hyson from Cumberland County; Christina Piparo and Jacob VanDoren from Hunterdon County; Kristin Osika of Morris County; Isabella Saradina from Passaic County; Shannon Emmett and Alexandra Gieswein from Salem County; and Dale Brochinsky, Gianna Casey, and Ben Strasser from Somerset County. 

LWF provided 4-H members, from across the country, with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and participate in experiential learning that develops and enhances leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and confidence. The goal was to prepare youth to return home and lead the way toward positive changes in their own communities. 

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“Leadership Washington Focus provided a valuable learning experience for New Jersey 4-H Members. Our delegation met 4-H members from California and Ohio as well as listened to motivational speakers and participated in workshops that developed communication skills, increased leadership capacity and built lifetime skills” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, 4-H Agent, Department of 4-H Youth Development.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station -Cooperative Extension, 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law. For more information about the New Jersey 4-H program visit Like New Jersey 4-H on Facebook.