Baton Rouge, LA – Tiffany Franklin, a 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Coordinator at the Southern University Ag Center, accompanied a delegation of six youth to the 2016 CWF in Washington D.C., July 17-23, 2016. Three of the youth were from Park Ridge Academic Magnet School and three were from the Southern University Laboratory School.
The CWF is a week-long 4-H citizenship program for youth ages 14-19. The premier national summer conference provides an opportunity for young people to: strengthen communication, leadership and other citizenship skills on a national level; understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders; exchange ideas; practice respect and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds.
Youth attending the conference, who are usually selected by their school’s administration and the SU Ag Center Project Coordinator, are also given the opportunity to explore, develop, and refine the civic engagement skills they need to be outstanding leaders in their community, country and world. Through sightseeing tours in Washington, D.C. and hands-on educational workshops, youth learn about the history of our nation and how they can apply their leadership and citizenship skills when they return home.
Louisiana’s youth delegation served on committees and participated in related group activities in which they were randomly assigned based on color groups. Groups included public speaking, communications, talent show, and Bill writing - which were debated in a public town hall meeting.
The delegation also developed a community action plan that will provide food for the homeless and underserved population around East Baton Rouge Parish.
Franklin was assisted by Ms. Tara Hollins, a chaperone who is a valued, long-time volunteer for the SU Ag Center’s programs.
Kahlia Bell, one of the 2016 Louisiana delegates wrote the following letter after attending the CWF:
Dear Dr. Franklin and the SU Ag Center:
I want to “thank you” guys for giving me the opportunity to attend the 4-H CWF conference in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience, pretty much life changing. I met so many wonderful people and I’ve learned a lot. I would also like to thank you guys for providing me with my first flight. I was a little bit scared at first, but I eventually got over it. This whole trip has also inspired me to reach higher and be the best I can be.
Full details on the CWF are available online at www.4HCWF.org or by contacting Dr. Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin at 225-771-2242.