Every summer, hundreds of teens from across Virginia gather for a week of fellowship, fun, and hands-on learning at Virginia Tech. State 4-H Congress is packed with dynamic workshops, competitions, exciting guest speakers, and many more valuable experiences for Virginia youth. Congress offers opportunities for every teen and their diverse interests, from bioinformatics to public speaking to yoga.

“I’ve been able to conquer my fear of public speaking, make lifelong friendships, and grow as a leader. Congress is something that I always look forward to and something I will never forget,” said former State 4-H Cabinet President, Kailey Blaylock.

In early October, Virginia 4-H began the “Virginia 4-H Grows True Leaders” effort to gather donations on Virginia Tech’s JUMP crowdfunding platform. Their goal is to raise $10,000 to support the attendance of members and volunteer leaders at State 4-H Congress.

State 4-H Congress, a four-day event in June, brings youth and adults from across the Commonwealth to Virginia Tech to develop leadership, life, and social skills. Throughout the week, 4-H members engage in educational workshops, service learning, and competition. They also have the opportunity to make connections and friendships with likeminded 4-H'ers from every corner of Virginia.

State 4-H Congress also fosters an encouraging environment that recognizes the members’ successes and the volunteers’ outstanding support across a week of hands-on learning. This environment gives youth delegates the resources and confidence to bring positive change home at the end of the week. After attending the 2016 State 4-H Congress, 96 percent of the participants surveyed indicated that they had learned skills that would help them in making a difference in their communities.

This June, hundreds of 4-H'ers will be on Virginia Tech’s campus engaging in a positive, educational experience. With the goal of $10,000, Virginia 4-H plans to offer more opportunities for attendance. Sponsors will be directly contributing to the attendance of 4-H youth participants and volunteer leaders. A $24 donation provides educational workshop supplies for two participants, while a $72 donation supports a 4-H volunteer’s transportation to attend State 4-H Congress. $230 will provide a full scholarship for a youth delegate or an adult volunteer to attend.

Virginia 4-H, with the help of the “Virginia 4-H Grows True Leaders” effort, hopes to exceed their previous success in the future at State 4-H Congress, allowing more outstanding teen leaders and adult volunteers to be involved.

4-H helps youth, and the adults who work with them, to gain leadership and life skills through a wide variety of hands-on activities and events. Virginia 4-H has more than 240,000 enrolled members and more than 15,000 volunteer leaders dedicated to this “learning by doing” philosophy. State 4-H Congress allows a portion of these 4-H'ers to learn, compete, be challenged, and make connections. Through the continued growth of the event, more youths and volunteer leaders will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities State 4-H Congress affords.

To support State 4-H Congress, visit https://crowdfund.vt.edu/project/7388.

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