Catt. Co. Largest 4-H Delegation in the State

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County is proud to announce that our 4-H Program has the largest delegation in the State of New York attending the 3-Day Career Explorations extravaganza at Cornell University this past week.

Forty-six 4-H youth and 5 adult chaperones met our three 4-H Teen Leaders, who were already pre-selected by Cornell, and are on campus doing leadership training. The Cattaraugus delegation joined hundreds of other 4-H members from across New York State.

Everyone took classes, made new friends, shared information about their respective parts of our great state and added to their leadership skills. Thanks to the generosity of the Olean and Arcade Tractor Supply Stores, The Liberty Partnership, Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County, every child received a scholarship in some amount to enable them to participate in this incredible adventure.

The purpose of this particular program is to provide youth with exposure to academic fields and career exploration, to develop leadership skills, to provide hands-on experience in a college setting and to introduce participants to Cornell University.  The event is made up of two grade specific tracts: University U for youth entering grades 8 – 9 and Focus for Teens for youth entering grades 10-12. University U exposes youth to a variety of program areas – with each child being exposed to about 10 different fields of study. Focus for Teens allows participants to select a specific interest area. Topics included Women in Science, Where Life and Engineering Meet, Astronomy and Environmental Engineering.

The theme for this year’s conference was Shout Out, Break Out. This theme encouraged participants to break out and try new things and shout out about their experiences and share it with others. The hands on learning opportunities, as well as the leadership and teamwork that was fostered, created an atmosphere where youth were able to broaden their horizons and gain many important life skills. The ability to interact and share this experience with other young people from across our County and State is invaluable.

Suzann Tighe, Executive Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cattaraugus,  said, “We are so very proud of the hundreds of children who have chosen to join 4-H in Cattaraugus County. They are a dedicated, diverse and hardworking group of kids. We encourage parents and grandparents to pick up the phone and give us a call at the Extension Office in Ellicottville 716 699-2377. Katie Benatovich works with our many non-animal programs, while Abby Luzier is focused on our programs that relate to animals, from guinea pigs to horses. 4-H is also a wonderful opportunity for our County Homeschoolers. We are always accepting applications from new members and adult volunteers, so if you are interested please give us a call.”