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The original item was published from 8/25/2016 10:46:00 AM to 10/26/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Posted on: August 25, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Cape May County 4-H’er Develops Leadership Skills at National Conference

Samantha Downes Photo

Cape May County 4-H member Samantha Downes is one of 18 New Jersey 4-H members who are now ready to take on the challenges of leadership after experiencing the vibrant, living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Leadership Washington Focus (LWF), an intensive 4-H leadership development program for middle-school youth held July 18-22 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

LWF provided 4-H members from across the country with the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC and participate in experiential learning that develops and enhances leadership competency in the four key areas of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and confidence; preparing youth to return home and lead the way toward positive changes in their own communities.

Samantha, a member of the Needles & Thread 4-H Club, is in the 8th grade and lives in North Cape May. “The conference provided an opportunity for Samantha and other 4-Hers from all over the country to become better leaders as they experienced our nation’s capital in a unique and educational way,” says Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H Program Coordinator. The New Jersey delegation met 4-H members from California and Ohio as well as listened to motivational speakers and participated in workshops that developed communication skills, increased leadership capacity and built lifetime skills

State financial assistance for the delegates’ travel and tuition costs was provided by the First Pioneer Agricultural Leadership Fund – Joshua Geary Fund. Locally, Samantha’s tuition and travel were generously supported by the Cape May County Board of Agriculture and the 4-H Program Advisory Council.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station -Cooperative Extension, 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law.

For more information about the Cape May County 4-H Program, call the 4-H Office at(609) 465-5115, ext. 605 or visit

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