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NY State 4-H on PBS for American Graduate Day

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Soledad O'Brien, Jamila Simon, and Nosa Akol

Soledad O'Brien, Jamila Simon, and Nosa Akol

As part of PBS American Graduate Day 2015 on Saturday, Oct. 3, Broome County CITIZEN U leader Nosa Akol and Jamila Simon, New York State 4-H citizenship and civic engagement specialist, spoke to a national audience about the power of youth development programs.

American Graduate Day 2015 celebrates the exceptional work of individuals and groups across the country who are American Graduate Champions: those helping local youth stay on track to college and career successes. Hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, the broadcast featured seven hours of national and local programming, live interviews, and performances.

Simon and Akol, a graduate of Binghamton High School, represented CITIZEN U and 4-H during their interview. A native of South Sudan, Akol shared how Cornell youth development programs helped her to gain confidence and communication and leadership skills to overcome painful bullying about her dark skin tone. In 2015, she won the 2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, the organization’s highest honor.

(Above story from the College of Human Ecology tumblr)

Video of Jamila and Nosa on PBS American Graduate Day:

 

 

Nosa Akol received the 2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, the highest 4-H honor, for her exemplary leadership in creating positive changes in her community, empowering peers, and overcoming personal challenges. The video below was created at the time of the award. In it Nosa discusses the influence 4-H and CITIZEN U have had on her life and others express their admiration for Nosa and her work.

 

 

Teen leader Nosa Akol takes her message to PBS - Cornell Chronicle
PBS spotlights Cornell youth development success - Cornell College of Human Ecology tumblr

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CITIZEN U puts youth on track for college

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Shaniyah Way in her yearbook photo for CITIZEN U.

A recent Cornell Chronicle article features success stories from 4-H's CITIZEN U program. One of the students highlighted is Shaniyah Way, who will is headed to Broome County Community College this fall. Way credits CITIZEN U with giving her the push she needed to decide to go on to college after graduating high school.

After two years of study and service, Way was one of 24 teens in Broome and Monroe counties to graduate in August as the first class from CITIZEN U, a 4-H program run by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research in the College of Human Ecology to help at-risk youth become active in their communities and prepare for college careers.

Way credits CITIZEN U with giving her “extra motivation” to continue her studies after earning her high school diploma last spring. She and seven other CITIZEN U graduates are attending college this fall, while the rest are continuing as program leaders until they graduate high school.

CITIZEN U is both short for "CITIZEN University" and referencing "CITIZEN YOU."  The program promotes community engagement, high school graduation, and enrollment in higher education. CITIZEN U is supported by Smith Lever funds, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Program puts at-risk youth on a path to college - Cornell Chronicle

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4-H’s CITIZEN U featured in NPR StoryCorp’s National Day of Listening

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StoryCorps is an ongoing project that records the diverse oral histories and stories of Americans. StoryCorps is created in partnership with National Public Radio, who air selected recordings weekly. This Friday, November 23rd, StoryCorps is instituting a National Day of Listening, an alternative or addition to Black Friday shopping.

The National Day of Listening is a day to honor a loved one through listening. It's the least expensive but most meaningful gift you can give this holiday season.

Included in the National Day of Listening archive are recordings by students in 4-H's CITIZEN U program from Broome County in which they talk about their experiences with civic engagement.

CITIZEN U recordings for the National Day of Listening

Cornell Chronicle article on CITIZEN U

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CITIZEN U youth delegates met with state legislators during 4-H Capital Days

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Delegates from Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Broome and Monroe Counties represented the CITIZEN U Project at the 77th Annual 4-H Capital Days in Albany, March 5-7. This year’s Capital Days had 108 youth delegates, representing 35 counties. The 4-H delegates were formally recognized on the Senate floor for being part of a “great youth development organization.”

CITIZEN U is a five-year federally funded project of the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Program. The project focuses on civic engagement and workforce preparation for teens 14-18 years old. CITIZEN U is a double entendre for "CITIZEN YOU" and a metaphor for creating a "University" environment in which teens are empowered to become community change agents.

The CITIZEN U delegates to 4-H Capital Days discussed the importance of CITIZEN U with their legislators and described the community improvement projects they are working on in their home counties. The 4-H Capital Days gives youth opportunities to meet their local representatives and opportunities to network with other 4-H delegates. Young people get a first-hand understanding how state government works and learn about government and public service careers.

Juwan Johnson, Jai'quan Caesar, Amanda Marquez, Shaniyah Way, CITIZEN U, CCE Broome County meet with Senator Libous

The CITIZEN U Teen Leaders from Broome County met with State Senator Tom Libous, and Anne Richmond, Executive Assistant to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo at the Legislative Breakfast. Jai’quan Caesar, Amanda Marquez, Shaniyah Way, and Juwan Johnson explained to their legislators what it meant to them to be “agents of change” and how they were working hard to improve Binghamton.

July, 2011 Cornell Chronicle article on CITIZEN U

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