Northern Marianas College – Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services (NMC-CREES) Interim Dean Patty Coleman and NMC-CREES Family, Community, and Youth Development State Program Leader Tayna Belyeu-Camacho recently convened with members of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy’s (ECOP) National 4-H Leadership Committee in Kona, Hawaii after an invitation to present on the 4-H Marianas program in the CNMI.
“The meeting was a great opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about the various positive youth development programs being implemented across the jurisdictions, and more importantly, identifying tangible areas for collaboration and regional work,” Coleman said.
During their presentation, Coleman and Belyeu-Camacho lauded the youth-driven approach and the over 100 youth volunteers of the 4-H Marianas in enhancing the capacity of other youths and elevating the voices of their peers locally, regionally, and nationally. They also emphasized the importance of leveraging partnerships to enhance current efforts and empowering young people to play an active role in their community as it builds a strong sense of belonging and community connectedness.
Liza Bouillion-Diaz, the 4-H Assistant Dean and Director for the University of Illinois, said that it was a great privilege to learn more about the CNMI 4-H program.
“I could see clearly how the principles of youth voice and leadership are common across our programs – connecting us as a global 4-H family,” Bouillon-Diaz said. “Workforce readiness, climate change, happiness and well-being are goals we share in Illinois as well, and I took home many ideas from the innovative program examples shared by Dean Patty and Ms. Tayna. I hope that this is the launch of an on-going partnership and exchange opportunity!”
Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council said that she was impressed with all the presentations.
“The NMC programs stood out for their authentic youth-led approach, their alignment with research-based youth development principles, and their professional quality marketing and storytelling,” Sirangelo said. “Most importantly, the fun leaped off the screen in the enthusiastic voices of the young people sharing their excitement about their 4-H program. It was clear that hundreds of young people have found their spark and their safe place to belong and grow in the NMC 4-H program. I learned so much and look forward to strengthening the National 4-H Council’s relationship with the NMC-CREES 4-H program into the future.”
For more information about the 4-H Marianas program, visit crees.marianas.edu.