Drive to Social Change Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute

The Drive to Social Change Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute is grounded in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development and offers a brand new program in Michigan that combines leadership, civic engagement, and grassroots community change and social justice. Institute scholars will:

  • Understand and be able to apply the Social Change Model of Leadership Development
  • Receive training on inclusion, implicit biases, micro-aggressions, identifying key stakeholders, and photovoice
  • Expand their network by interacting and receiving training from diverse leaders and educators in three different Michigan communities
  • Explore issues around social justice such as race, gender, poverty, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity
  • Participate in hands-on social action
  • Meet youth leaders from all around Michigan
  • Apply their newly-developed leadership skills to plan and lead a community or social change project in their hometown

The Leadership Institute: Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute is a unique opportunity for all youth to engage in social and community change through in person and virtual training and experiences. Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute is an opportunity for youth leaders to expand their knowledge of community service, youth voice, leadership skills and community change around topics of inclusion, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, poverty, ethnicity and diversity. The Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute is a year-long program with three main parts:

  1. First, selected youth will interact with each other and Michigan State University Extension educators through an online media platform that showcases their voice on social issues in their community. This project will be facilitated through virtual training and meetings beginnning September 25 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm and continuing every other Monday (at the same time) through December 4, 2017.
  2. Next, youth will come together and learn about each other’s diverse communities in the Drive to Social Change Road Trip on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 12-15, 2018. Over four days youth will engage in hands on social and community action, as well as learn from diverse community leaders and their peers. This Road Trip will showcase Detroit, Mt. Pleasant, and Marquette!
  3. After youth have completed their training and Drive to Social Change Road Trip, they will have the tools they need to plan, design and implement a social change project in their own community. With the support of their cohort and MSU Extension educators, youth will become change makers in their own communities, utilizing and bringing home the tools they have from Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute. 

Online youth applications and nomination forms are being accepted now through September 9 at

Six Reasons to apply for Drive to Social Change Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute:

  1. You will explore multiple social and community issues and take action to solve them!
  2. You do not have to be a current 4-H member in order to apply!
  3. You will receive all the tools necessary to be in the program including a handbook and other guides to community change!
  4. You get to meet and work with incredible youth from different parts of Michigan.
  5. You get to tour communities and meet leaders making a positive difference in Detroit, Mt. Pleasant, and Marquette.
  6. You get to shape your own journey!


The Social Change Model of Leadership Development: The Michigan 4-H Leadership Institute is formatted around the Social Change Model for Leadership Development. This model teaches leadership as a process that enacts change. To do this, one needs to interact with the seven C’s of social change on an individual, community, and societal level. The seven C’s are Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment, Collaboration, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility and Citizenship. As the figure below shows, these C’s all work together in a trifecta to enact change.

Higher Education Research Institute Seven "C's" of Social Change Model

Higher Education Research Institute, 1996

Description of the Seven “C’s”

  1. Consciousness of Self: The first step to enact change must be to recognize one self worth-to understand what drives oneself. One must be aware of their own beliefs, values, attitudes and emotions that motivate them. A person can not change anything until they understand themselves enough to know what they want to change and why.
  2. Congruence: Congruence is in reference to the consistent way that one treats others. Being genuine, authentic and honest towards others takes continued open mindedness in one’s personal thoughts and feelings. A congruent person is one that is consistent and firm in their consciousness of self. These two C’s are interdependent on each other.
  3. Commitment: A person utilized their consciousness of self and congruency in order to achieve commitment, which is the energy and motivation to one to serve a collective effort. Commitment instills passion and intensity during the duration of tasks. It gives one value and a sense to accomplish goals.
  4. Collaboration: Working with others towards a common goal consists of group leadership effort by empowering oneself and others through commitment and trust. Collaborative utilizes others talents and perspectives by using the power of diversity to generate effective and creative solutions.
  5. Common Purpose: Collaborating with others towards a common purpose facilitates the group’s ability to produce a collective analysis of issues and tasks. To best achieve a goal is driven by many voices working with a shared understanding of goals, values and vision where everyone participates actively in the shape of their common purpose.
  6. Controversy with Civility: Along with collaborating and incorporating one’s values, passions and commitments to a common purpose there will always be people who have differences in viewpoint. Such differences need to be allowed to be aired openly and worked through civilly within a cohesive group. Civility is the willingness to respect diversity and hear others viewpoints with an open mind. Controversy with diverse opinions often leads to a creative solution especially when it is done with civility, common purpose and collaboration.
  7. Citizenship: An individual’s responsibility to be active and involved in collaborative efforts to engage in their community and society. In order to be an active citizen, one must use the other six “C’s” of social change: Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment, Collaboration, Common Purpose, and Controversy with Civility.