Search Cornell

Collaborating to help youth communicate

photo of a teen boy speaking at a microphone standing in front of a red curtain

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

New York State 4-H (NYS 4-H) Youth Development is partnering with communications and theater experts from Cornell and the Ithaca community to offer a 4-H Communication Institute this summer.

The weekend-long program will offer 4-H teens the opportunity to attend workshops led by teaching assistants from the departments of communication and performing and media arts and professionals from Civic Ensemble, an Ithaca theater company. Participants will also work on their personal presentations, resumes, and participate in mock interviews. Institute organizers have three goals for the event:

  1. To have Cornell undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members share their knowledge and skills with 4-H alumni, parents, and educators;
  2. For Cornell students engage in experiential learning, applying their knowledge in a workshop setting;
  3. Finally, for 4-H members and parents to explore communications and performing arts and to take new skills back to their home communities around New York State.

Jamila Walida Simon

“This collaboration is a great one,” said Jamila Walida Simon, NYS 4-H civic engagement specialist who is helping to organize the conference. “The organizations participating in the conference are each focused on a single purpose: to be able to tell a credible story. Whether we talking about traditional communication techniques or performing arts, the lesson is in the crafting of the story.”

The idea, Simon said, is to help teens from across New York State to improve their communication skills while providing Cornell students with the opportunity to become teachers, sharing what they have learned in their studies and evaluating the work of 4-H teens.

4-H districts from across New York State will select teen members with strong presentation skills to attend the institute. In addition, Jodi Cohen, a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication, will host workshops for 4-H educators, volunteers, and parents. This year, the conference will be free to participants, although lodging is not included.

The hope moving forward is to continue the program so that New York State teens are able to improve their communications skills to serve them in college and beyond.

“I hope that we will be able to build up our communities through our work in Cornell University Cooperative Extension,” Simon said. “This is one way in which we can extend the research of the university into communities.”

(2) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    collaboration    communications    Jamila Walida Simon    youth   

4-H Summit bolsters teens’ leadership skills

Tags: 4-H,   Jamila Walida Simon,   media mention,   youth,  


Nigel Davidson, of Rochester, pedals powerfully to run a smoothie blender, as Dan Wrenn, of Poestenkill, NY looks on.
photo by Michael Okoniewski

This April, nearly 300 teenage 4-H members attended a three-day summit in Syracuse designed to teach leadership and life skills. The theme of the 2014 State Teen Action Representative Retreat (STARR) was “Arrive a teen, leave a leader.”

Workshop topics included air medical transport, entomology, general etiquette, public speaking, wearable technology, nutrition, fitness, and social-emotional health.

The BCTR's Jamila Walida Simon is quoted in the Cornell Chronicle article about the event:

These teens make new friends and get immersed into cultural diversity, said Jamila Simon, Cornell’s New York state 4-H civic engagement coordinator. “It’s great to have an annual leadership retreat to re-energize 4-H’ers by bringing them together to share ideas, reinforce their great work, and find new ways to carry out their work, projects and activities,” said Simon.

Teens kindle leadership and life skills at 4-H summit - Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Jamila Walida Simon    media mention    youth