Established in 2015, the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC) is a statewide leadership opportunity for 4-H youth. SYLC members serve as representatives of the Michigan 4-H program, promoting 4-H through state and local activities, and can provide youth voice and perspective on the development of 4-H programs and curricula. SYLC members are also provided an opportunity to represent Michigan in attendance at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.

Who is eligible?

Any 4-H participant, age 15-19 by January 1, 2018, can apply for a council position. They must be currently enrolled in a 4-H program, in good standing in their local 4-H club or unit, and have completed at least the previous year of 4-H work. Youth are selected for the council by application and interview with a state committee of MSU Extension staff. SYLC member terms are two years. 

When/where do they meet? 

The council meets monthly through Zoom online video conferencing and holds at least two in-person meetings in conjunction with other state 4-H events: 4-H Teen Leadership and Global Citizenship Spectacular (Kettunen Center, January) and 4-H Exploration Days (MSU campus, June).

Why would youth be interested in SYLC?

SYLC members receive training on public speaking, advocacy, communication and leadership skills. SYLC is Michigan’s highest youth leadership opportunity and is a goal that older youth can aspire toward. SYLC members get to broaden their network and expand their knowledge of 4-H programs beyond their counties. 

How do youth apply?

Interested youth should complete the electronic survey, which serves as their application. Applicants must also select two adults, one being their 4-H Program Coordinator, to complete a reference. The deadline to apply for 2018 SYLC is October 27, 2017. Selected applicants will be contacted by SYLC advisors to arrange a time for an interview following the closing date.

How does SYLC benefit Michigan 4-H? 

Michigan 4-H believes that youth should be participants, rather than recipients in the learning process. Staff teach volunteers about strengthening youth voice and youth-adult partnerships at the club and county level. SYLC provides an outlet for youth voice at the state level. As staff plan new programs, design promotional tools or create curriculum geared at high-school age groups, contact the SYLC advisors and ask to get on an upcoming SYLC agenda. 


Connie Lange and Jackie Martin

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