The ability to communicate effectively is considered one of the basic skills needed today to achieve success in school and on the job. The Minnesota 4-H Foundation recognized this, and formed the Communicate. Lead. Succeed. Award for 4-Hers across the state. The award rewards young people who work to meet criteria that helps build their personal communications skills. In its first year, this award was given to 36 4-Hers across the state including Abbey and Shelby Schiefelbein from Meeker County.
In order to qualify to receive a Communicate. Lead. Succeed. Award from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation youth had to complete a series of requirements over a one-year period from October-September. Winners of the Junior communicators award (grades third-sixth) received a certificate of excellence from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. Senior communicators (grades seventh and above) were awarded a cash prize of $25 or $50 depending on the level of the award completed.
Young people involved in 4-H have been participating in public demonstrations and communications as part of their clubs activities for nearly 100 years. 4-H members in canning clubs in the early 1900s learned and demonstrated safe methods of preserving food from home gardens. Today, 4-H members have opportunities to give demonstrations and public speeches on everything from how to build a rocket to the best way to groom a rooster.
Public presentations help youth:
Develop poise and self-confidence
Acquire knowledge through research
Plan and organize thoughts
Express ideas logically and clearly
Respond to questions
4-H knows that regardless of what business you are in - a large corporation, a small company or even a home-based business - effective communication skills are essential for success. The Communicate. Lead. Succeed. Award is designed to encourage youth to develop their communication skills by giving demonstrations, attending communication and leadership training workshops, becoming youth leaders in their clubs, county and even state, serving their community with local service projects, speaking in front of groups such as a classroom or other club, participating in the performing arts, and practicing their writing skills by writing things such as press releases, or secretaries' reports for club meetings.