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Missouri Bar Executive Director Shares 4-H Stories with Missouri Youth at 4-H Legislative Academy

More than a dozen youth from across the state gathered at the Missouri State Capitol to share 4-H stories and experiences with Missouri legislators, law firms, commodity groups and state agency leaders at the 11th annual University of Missouri Extension 4-H Legislative Academy held from Feb. 16-18, 2015.

While in Jefferson City, the group attended a Legal Careers Luncheon and heard from program partners, including The Missouri Bar Executive Director Sebrina Barrett. Barrett, a 4-H alumnus, shared how her rural Missouri background has helped her succeed.

“Participating in the leadership opportunities provided by the Missouri 4-H program helped shape me into the person I am today,” Barrett said. “I credit 4-H for helping expand my horizons and identifying career opportunities that were available in government and the law. I enjoyed sharing my 4-H experience with the impressive participants of this year’s Legislative Academy.”

At other academy events, 4-H youth met with Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell and talked with legislators. Academy delegates also met with executive branch officials and toured the offices of Secretary of State Jason Kander and Gov. Jay Nixon.

Legislative Academy is a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity for 4-H youth leaders.  The goal is to strengthen relationships between Missouri 4-H and key lawmakers and donors, and for youth participants to acquire skills in legislative advocacy. The Academy was founded by Lowell Mohler and the Missouri 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.

State 4-H Specialist Steve Henness said that in an exit survey, all youth delegates said they are more likely to pursue public service as a career, serving on a board or commission, or running for public office. He said a couple delegates in particular mentioned the academy bolstered their plans to take law-related courses or try for law school.

Missouri 4-H is a community of more than 260,000 youth ages 5-18 from rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards and urban neighborhoods. 4-H youth learn leadership, citizenship and life skills, guided by more than 10,000 adult volunteers statewide. University of Missouri Extension 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, go to http://4h.missouri.edu.

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