- Author: Curtis Ullerich
The California 4-H Youth Summits are three-day leadership conferences held at four locations throughout the state. They are designed to grow the leadership abilities of intermediate 4-H members (ages 11-13) and give hands-on leadership opportunities to senior 4-H members (ages 14+). Details and registration are on the 4-H Youth Summit event site.
Tell me about the Youth Summit. What kinds of things will participants do and learn?
Raedyn: It's an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your passions. Thinking about that now can give you a leg up once you get to high school.
Casey: We'll have hikes, workshops with different guest speakers, sessions to learn leadership skills and ways of finding your passion.
Raedyn: They'll learn about communication, teamwork, the six Cs--
Curtis: --the sixties?
Casey: no, the six C's!
(The six C's are Competence, Confidence, Character, Caring, Connection, and Contribution.)
The theme for the Youth Summits this year is "ripples of today, waves of tomorrow." Tell me about that.
Raedyn: They'll learn how to advocate for themselves and the things they're passionate about. It'll help kids discover and delve into what they're excited about learning.
What'll they learn about advocacy?
Raedyn: They'll learn about understanding issues in the grand scheme of things but also on a personal level, so they can take it into their communities now or in the future. I know as a middle schooler you feel kinda like, with all these big issues "oh my gosh, well, I have to wait until I'm older to do something about that", but the thing is, they don't really have to wait. They can find ways to do things in their community to help out right now. I think that's important; that's one of the things we talk about in the planning meetings is making sure to keep it Big and Local.
Curtis: how do you keep something both big and local?
Raedyn: You talk about the big issue: This is what's going on overall, and these are some things you can do to help.
Curtis: Ah, so saying that you can make a difference without solving the whole problem.
What's the atmosphere at the Youth Summit going to be like?
Casey: It'll be a balance of learning and fun, like camp. There'll be times when you're listening and taking in information and there are times that are more interactive and doing things with others outside.
Raedyn: It's gonna have more variety than other leadership conferences because you'll have choices about which workshops to do. That ties into the fact that they're gonna be finding their passion, so if they find something that interests them they can do that instead of other courses that they might not enjoy as much.
The planning team is mostly 4-H youth. How does that impact what the event will be like?
Raedyn: It's fun planning a whole conference from the ground up. I've never done something that big. That seems pretty cool to me.
Casey: We're working with staff and adults from the Management Board. We get to choose what we focus on. We know what 4-H events are like and what we would want to do at a conference, so we try to keep it fun and learn about the things that are important to us.
I hear there's a session called the Leadership Lab. What's that going to be like?
Raedyn: It's a longer activity, more hands-on. It uses teamwork and gives everyone a chance to practice a leadership skill that's important to them. It's going to be very hands-on and engaging. We're trying to live up to last year, because the surveys were like "we love the leadership lab!" so we've gotta live up to that.
You can also attend the Youth Summit if you are 14 or older. What will their experience be like?
Casey: They're called facilitators, which is a lot like staff at other events. You attend, but you are helping out.
Raedyn: They'll make sure kids are on task, help them with activities. We'll assign some to be cabin heads, have them do head counts and stuff during breakfast, make sure everyone has eaten. We need people to help us execute what we're planning.
If I'm thinking about going but don't know someone else who's attending should I still sign up?
Raedyn: Along with educational sessions we're also gonna have recreation time and time for kids to socialize. They can make important connections by coming because they'll meet kids from all over the area.
Casey: Even if you don't know someone who's going you'll still meet people and make connections.
Raedyn: We're trying our best to make it a welcoming environment for everyone to meet new people.
More information about each summit is on the 4-H Youth Summit Event site.
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
In honor of National Volunteer Week this week, we want to highlight two of our volunteers who have been recognized for their service to 4-H. Paulette Sauln from San Diego County has been named the Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Curtis Ullerich from Santa Clara County has been named the Volunteer of the Year for the Western Region.
Salute to Excellence Awards
Each year, state 4‑H programs nominate two outstanding individual volunteers through the 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards, which recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Each Cooperative Extension Region (Northeast, South, North Central, West) names its own Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year. The regional honorees become nominees for the national award, and one candidate in each category will be named the national Honoree later this month.
Paulette Sauln, 2017 Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award, Western Region
The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years as a 4‑H volunteer. Paulette Sauln has been a 4-H volunteer in California for 29 years. During that time she has touched the lives of many 4-H members, leaders, alumni and future 4-Hers.
Curtis Ullerich, 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award, Western Region
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4‑H less than 10 years. Curtis has been a volunteer in California for two years, coming from Iowa where he was a 4-H youth and collegiate member. In the short time he has been with California 4-H, he has become an integral adult volunteer of 4-H through club, county, state and national activities.
Learn more about our honorees!
Both Paulette and Curtis have so many accomplishments, we will be highlighting them in separate posts this week. We want to share all the ways they have contributed to 4-H, which won't fit in just one blog post! Please join us in congratulating these two outstanding individuals and showing them appreciation for all they do for 4-H in California./h2>/h3>/h3>/h2>
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
Curtis has been a volunteer in California for two years, coming from Iowa where he was a 4-H youth and collegiate member. In the short time he has been with California 4-H, he has become an integral adult volunteer of 4-H through club, county, state and national activities.
Working at all levels of 4-H
Curtis works with youth at all levels of the organization. As a project leader, Curtis helps young people master citizen-science skills and video production. At the county level, he is the All Star/County Ambassador Advisor.
At the state level, Curtis is currently the Chair of the 4-H State Management Board, the volunteer management organization of California 4-H. During this first year of the State Management Board, he has transitioned from Vice-chair to Chair when the original Chair had to step down for personal reasons. His leadership of the board has moved it forward to define itself and establish open communications with the 4-H community.
In addition to his large role on the State Management Board, Curtis is a team leader on the Education Technology Advisory Committee, which supports statewide events with A/V needs, live streaming, photography and video.
At the national level, Curtis was selected to serve as the California 4-H delegation mentor for the National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team.
Positive interactions with youth
One of the first things people learn about Curtis is his focus on helping young people to have positive experiences. His youth-adult partnership skills are exemplars for other volunteers. Curtis creates opportunities to have youth voices heard by creating safe openings for them to express their opinions. By posing questions that start with phrases such as, “I wonder if…”, he opens the door for other opinions and engagement. His approach with youth is to trust them to make good decisions and to help them reflect on what is important to them. His mentorship approach makes youth feel valued and engaged.
No matter what role Curtis is serving in, he consistently focuses on the youth experience and how to engage youth in the conversation. When there are youth at the table, Curtis is the first one to ask their opinion and draw out their involvement if needed.
Salute to Excellence Awards
As a regional honoree, Curtis is also one of four nominees for the National 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award. The 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Local 4-H Roles:
- Club enrollment coordinator (2 years)
- Project Leader for STEM and Video Production (2 years)
- All Star/County Ambassador Advisor (2 years) All Star/County Ambassadors is the highest working honor for youth at the county level
- Campfire Advisor for camp (1 year)
State/ Regional Roles:
- Chair, State 4-H Management Board (1 year)
- Program Assistant, State Leadership Conference (2 years)
- Team member, Fourleaf task force (1 year) Online Record Book 2.0
- Team Leader, Educational Technology Advisory Committee (2 years)
- Chaperone/presenter/facilitator/evaluator as needed at area and state level events (2 years)
- Mentor, California Delegation, National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team (1 year)
- Golden Clover Award 2016 for Science. Golden Clovers are state level annual awards for youth and volunteers.
- Volunteer of the Year, Homesteader's 4-H Club 2016
Non-4-H Volunteer roles:
- Popcorn Button (community jazz band): founder and leader, see www.popcornbutton.org, 2010 – present
- Santa Clara Big Band: alto sax 2016
- Google Orchestra: trombone 2016
- Stanford Saxophone Choir: alto sax 2015 - present
- Google Mobile Orchestra (computer music ensemble) 2015 - present
- Stanford Wind Ensemble: alto and baritone sax 2015 - present
4-H Youth Involvement:
- Iowa 4-H Youth Council Member
- Delegate to National 4-H Congress
- Mentor, Iowa 4-H Youth Technology Team 2010 - 2013
- Major projects included horse, music, visual arts, and citizenship
- Collegiate 4-H ISU: president, publicity chair, programming chair, webmaster 8/2009 - 12/2013