Dozens of Kane County Youth Shadow Local Officials for the 22nd Annual 4-H Government Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014
CHARLES, Ill. – Thirty-six Kane County 4-H members gained first-hand knowledge
of the important roles local government officials play during the 22nd
annual 4-H Government Day on Tuesday, March 11.
4-H youth, ages 13 to 18, shadowed more than 30 county officials, experiencing
the inside of a County Board meeting, courtroom proceedings, or other
government departments and offices.
program is a wonderful educational opportunity for our 4-H youth," said Doris
Braddock, 4-H Program Coordinator in Kane County. "We thank our officials
for supporting this annual event and for taking the time to work and talk with
our 4-H members. They leave this day with a better understanding of local
government and exposure to new career possibilities."
Attorney Joseph McMahon, who has participated for four years, said he looks
forward to meeting with the 4-H members each time.
program gives them insight into the buildings that they drive by every day, and
the opportunity to sit with us and see what happens, why it happens and how we
serve the county," McMahon said. "We usually work with a victim or a defendant,
seeing people at their worst moments in life. It's enjoyable to spend time with
these productive youth who have great goals and bright futures."
Patrick Perez is in his eighth year with the program, and echoed McMahon's
youth from 4-H to experience what we do, and the services we provide in local
government, but it also gives us an appreciation of them as well. Seeing youth
on this basis, rather than those we see in court or in jail," he said. "In the
eight years 4-H'ers have shadowed me, every time they are polite and
professional youth. They ask pertinent questions and represent the organization
Nicholas and Nathan Holmer of Burlington signed up for the Government Day
project for the fifth and third time, respectively. They were assigned to
follow Perez and McMahon this year.
"It is a
different experience every year, so we are always learning something new," said
Nathan, 15. "I was able to sit in on a court case this year."
agreed. "It's interesting to see the many jobs in our government and judicial
system. I've shadowed county board members, the treasurer, a judge and the sheriff.
Every year I learn more."
participant Hollyann Stanley, 16, of St. Charles, said she now plans to become
a repeat participant as well. She was inspired by the passion and views of the
County Board members.
more exciting than I expected," she said after shadowing County Board member
T.R. Smith. "This is something I'd think about doing – standing for the people
and sharing my opinion. When we talk about government, I always think of
Washington, D.C. It was nice to experience it on a local level, see how local
government works and how it impacts our lives.
are grateful the officials share their time," she added. "I wouldn't have known
so much about how our local government works without this day."
is just one of many reasons why County Board member Mike Kenyon has supported
the program for his 10 years in office.
think it is important that everybody take an interest in government and be a
part of the process," he said. "One thing they learned this morning was if they
have a problem, it is important to know where to go and who to talk to about
it. Government is for the people and young people need to learn that."
long-time program, now in its 22nd year, continues to be popular,
of our 4-H'ers are repeat participants for multiple years, and many officials
participate year after year as well," she said. "4-H Youth Development programs
strive to develop critical skills, such as decision making, communicating, and
goal setting, and we want our youth to learn and practice life skills to lead a
productive life, contribute to society, and function effectively in an
ever-changing world. This Government Day program is a prime example of that
are outstanding young people, and head and shoulders above many of their
peers," said Kenyon. "They want to improve themselves and learn, and they are
excited to do it."
Tufts University study found that 4-H'ers are five times more likely to
graduate from college, and they are three times more likely to actively
contribute to their community when compared with non-4-H youth.
addition, more than half of Illinois 4-H members who were entering college said
their 4-H experiences helped them choose a major, according to the 2012
Illinois 4-H Survey.
4-H, I get to meet new people, get to know my community and have new
opportunities, like Government Day," Stanley said. "The skills we learn can
apply later in life. I'm learning leadership and how to better myself, and that
makes you feel good about yourself."
Youth Development programs include 4-H Clubs, Learning Enrichment, and other
Youth Outreach activities. These positive youth development programs provide
opportunities for youth to feel a sense of belonging, develop independence,
practice generosity, and experience mastery. For more information on the 4-H
program in Kane County, contact Program Coordinator Doris Braddock at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/.
University of Illinois Extension provides
educational programs and research-based information to help Illinois residents
improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems. To learn more
about University of Illinois Extension in Kane County and all the programs they
offer, please visit their website at web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/.
University of Illinois Extension provides
equal opportunities in programs and employment.