Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference
Four hundred teens from eight southern states took part in the annual Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center, in Crossville, Tennessee, Sept. 19–22, 2019. The event was created to bring together 4-H teens and adults to empower and inspire them to make a positive change across the southern region through youth-adult partnerships. Three teens (Cayden Brackett, Morgan Hansen, and Chancellor Byrd) and two adults (Denise Sherrill and Jenna Brackett) represented North Carolina at the conference. Activities included a variety of workshops, dances, campfires, a showcase of 4-H projects, a Taste of the States (with samples of food from each state), a tour of Tennessee Tech University, and a 4k. Teens taught many of the workshops and led many of the activities. Delegates brought money to purchase supplies for needy school children in Kentucky, and the school provided a bus to collect the items. All 400 conference participants used the donations to shop for supplies in Wal-Mart and “Stuffed the Bus” with their purchases.
The conference included a panel discussion with representatives from each state. One of the questions asked in the panel discussion was “What are the benefits of 4-H?” Panel members stated that 4-H helps you to:
- build self-confidence, public speaking and leaderships skills
- develop a sense of belonging
- become college and career ready
- find your passions or niche
- run for office
- step outside your comfort zone
- experience in competing for job opportunities
- be part of a family of people from across your state
- and prepare for life.
The conference was organized and led by a planning group of teens and adults from throughout the region.