MAYNOOTH, Ireland - Ten New Jersey 4-H members, including two sisters from Hillsborough, NJ are participating in the 2019 International Leadership for Life Conference hosted by Foróige, a youth development organization in Ireland from July 29-Aug. 2 at the National University of Ireland, commonly known as Maynooth University.

Megan and Susan Norz of Hillsborough, along with Fiona You of Raritan and Kaleigh Brunner of Warren are also members of the New Jersey contingent, along with six other members: Elise Heim, Cape May County;Scarlett Kinsey, Camden County; Christina Piparo, Hunterdon County; Kristin Osika, Morris County;Riley Chenoweth=Hafner, Ocean County and Sarah Chaplain, Warren County. 

Foróige’s Leadership for Life Conference, now in its 11th year, is held annually and is one of the highlights of the Foróige program. Foróige was formed in 1952 and is based on the 4-H youth development program model. The conference involves 300 high school age young people. While at the conference, attendees participate in one of the three modules of the Leadership for Life Program.

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Delegates will meet teens from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, India, and other countries. They will engage in over 15 hours of leadership workshops; hear from a variety of guest speakers who will tell their personal leadership journey, their challenges, their successes and will inspire the delegates to achieve their goals; and participate in evening activities such as teambuilding, quiz night, talent night, and the closing gala dinner.

Foróige's Leadership for Life Program is a personal leadership development program aimed at equipping young people to explore their vision and passion, and to develop key skills such as planning, decision making, critical thinking, goal setting and problem solving that are core to leadership. This leadership program was developed based on theories and principles of youth work, leadership development, and leadership styles.

The Leadership for Life Program is offered in three sequential modules. Each module consists of 15 hours of educational workshops with topics serving as a bridge from one level to the next.

The New Jersey 4-H members will complete the Advanced Leadership Module while at the conference. This module enables participants to put into practice their learning from previous modules by actively engaging in a community action project of their choice, keeping a learning journal of their experiences, and presenting a portfolio upon completion. The delegates will plan and conduct a service project upon their return from the conference.

“The Leadership for Life Conference is aimed at enriching young people’s lives by broadening their appreciation and respect for themselves and others in the world. The conference will provide an opportunity for New Jersey 4-H members to take part in an international experience and to participate in advanced leadership training, preparing them to identify community issues, explore causes, possible solutions, and community action efforts,” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, 4-H Agent, Department of 4-H Youth Development.