State 4-H leader shares tips on raising resilient youth



Lessons taught through 4-H help young people prepare for the future

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Learning by doing has been the experience for generations of young people who have grown-up through the 4-H program. From crafting through woodworking to turning a creative lens on photography to caring for livestock from a young age, 4-H teaches many life lessons through hands-on experiences.

But sometimes there are lessons beyond the project that carry into life, said Wade Weber, state program leader for Kansas 4-H.

“There are skills that we need to practice in order to create a supportive environment for young people to help them see their value while also being able to handle adversity in a positive way,” Weber said.

To that end Weber sees three obstacles that adults and young people must learn to overcome.
• Stress and fatigue.
• Mistrust of authority.
• Misinformation.

“These factors are corrosive to any organization,” Weber said.

To combat the negative influences, Weber names three individual opportunities to move ahead.
• Focusing on self-care.
• Choosing to trust rather than be suspicious.
• Engaging with others for a better understanding.

Weber said understanding these principles will help young people later in life to overcome the obstacles set before them.

He said: “Our mission is to help young people connect with resources and opportunities to help them grow in their capacity to see themselves as a learner, communicator, collaborator and ultimately a contributor to their local communities.”

To learn more about the Kansas 4-H program, visit


FOR PRINT PUBLICATIONS: Links used in this story

K State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K State campus in Manhattan. For more information, visit K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Story by:
Lisa Moser
[email protected]

More information:
Wade Weber
[email protected]


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