MODESTO -- Last month, 52 youths from the Stanislaus County 4-H program embarked for Wonder Valley Ranch in the Fresno County town of Sanger to attend the annual middle school leadership conference.
The Leadership Conference of Regional Teens, or LCORT, caters to seventh- through ninth-graders, educating youth about important leadership skills. It was held the weekend of Jan. 25
Delegates attend 12 sessions over the course of the weekend, ranging from teamwork to self-esteem to individuality. Sessions are designed and presented by county All Stars, students who are 15 and older and serve as the youth representatives of their county.
The rank of All Star is the highest position awarded in county 4-H programs, and while presenting at LCORT, they promote the importance of leadership. Coordinating the event are the California State Ambassadors, the highest position of leadership in California 4-H.
The duties of an ambassador include assisting in coordinating LCORT, other statewide events throughout the year and the State Leadership Conference held at the University of California at Davis in August.
SLC is a larger version of LCORT that is statewide and for high school 4-Hers. State ambassadors also occupy their largest role of representing the California 4-H program in national and statewide events.
The position of state ambassador is highly competitive, and applying includes an interview process and a presentation on one of four given topics in front of a panel of judges.
The number of ambassadors selected varies each year, but ranges from nine to 17, according to whom the judges believe are best suited to prepare for SLC and will represent the program finest.
Currently, there are nine ambassadors. One is from Stanislaus County my sister Dominique Germann. There have been only eight ambassadors from Stanislaus since the first year the program was initiated in 1940.
The position is open to all high school students enrolled in 4-H and is a great leadership opportunity.
LCORT builds a strong foundation of leadership skills that will prepare youth for the position of ambassador.
Delegates are required to enroll in 4-H to attend.
Gabriella Germann is a freshman at Central Valley High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom Program.