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4-H Boosts Leadership, Civic Engagement thru Washington Focus
South Dakota Ag Connection - 08/13/2019

Learning about political processes in the vibrant, living classroom of the nation's capital, 38 South Dakota 4-H youth participated in Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high school youth. The program was held at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.

"The overall experience was incredible. I made lifelong friends and learned valuable lessons from our nation's capital. The memories I made on this trip are unforgettable and have deepened my appreciation for United States history," said Laura Bogue of Lincoln County.

For more than 50 years, the National 4-H Conference Center has invited thousands of youth from across the country to travel to Washington, D.C., and participate in civic workshops, committees and field trips before returning home to make positive changes in their own communities. CWF not only strengthens youth's understanding of the government's civic process, but it also boosts their leadership skills, communication skills and overall confidence.

During CWF, youth get a behind-the-scenes look at the nation's capital while meeting with members of Congress to learn more about how their government works. At the end of the program, youth draft step-by-step action plans to address important issues in their communities.

"CWF was so much fun, from making new lifetime friends, to learning about historical events, government and our country," said Taryn Opdahl of Hamlin County.

The South Dakota 4-H contact for information about CWF is Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension 4-H Events Management Coordinator (605-688-4167).

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