On Nov. 7, 2014, 23 teens involved in 4-H and FFA programs around Virginia gathered at the 4-H conference center in Front Royal for the first-ever Teen Excellence in Leadership Institute multi-event experience. Each of the 23 students were nominated by either their high school agriculture teachers or a 4-H extension agent in order to participate in the program. TELI’s purpose is to bring teens together through leadership development in order to recognize and address global issues facing communities in the commonwealth while working in a collaborative environment.
The November meeting was the first of three opportunities that the students had to interact and engage with each other both as a whole group and then in the smaller teams that they would work with to address community leadership needs in Virginia. Students also worked to develop personalized action plans for engaged leadership while learning about advocacy and outreach. Goals and objectives were set for the students so that it was understood what they would be working towards throughout the experience. The youth also participated in a presentation about communication and media and how that would come into play during their projects. Prior to arriving to the conference, each student took StrengthQuest and KAI which was then discussed and put into practice throughout the weekend. Continue reading