The 4‑H Youth in Action program amplifies the diverse stories and leadership of 4‑H youth who are making a difference in their communities every day. It is a community of 4‑H’ers who are preparing for their future while showcasing how 4‑H changed their lives and equipped them to change the lives of others.
In 2023, Minnesota 4-H alumna Nicole Cash was selected as one of four 4-H Youth in Action award winners.
“I first learned about the 4-H Youth in Action program in an email I received,” says Nicole Cash, Dakota County 4-H alumna and 2023 Youth in Action award winner. “I went on to ask my local Extension educator about the program, and she encouraged me to apply.”
As part of the program, winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship, a year of personal professional and media development, training, and networking opportunities, all-expenses-paid trips to travel as a spokesperson and key thought leader and an official reference letter from a National 4‑H Council leader for educational or career purposes.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experience with the Youth in Action program so far. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone– doing things like traveling, networking and public speaking– and given me the opportunity to expand on the knowledge I’ve gained during my time in 4-H,” she says.
Not only has Nicole had the chance to build important, lifelong skills during her time in the Youth in Action program, but she’s also made new friends and connections.
“One of the things I’m looking most forward to is spending more time with the other Youth in Action winners,” Nicole says. “All of them are super incredible people, and they’ve become good friends of mine.”
When asked what advice she would give to young people considering applying to the Youth in Action program, Nicole encourages them to put their fears aside and go for it.
“Don’t be afraid to do big things because ordinary people do extraordinary things,” Nicole says. “I was very afraid to apply because I’m just a normal person– but that doesn’t mean I can’t do extraordinary things. I’m so glad I went through with the application process!”
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