September 2017
Youth Matters

4-H Extension Corner: Aiming for Great Leadership

Alabama 4-H’ers Attend National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Institute

Two Alabama 4-H’ers, Justin Mitchell from Lauderdale County and Christina Green from Coffee County, attended the National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Institute July 25-29 in Gainesville, Florida.


New National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors Justin Mitchell, above, and Christina Green, below.

They are now National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors. Additionally, the Alabama 4-H’ers are State 4-H Shooting Awareness Fun & Education Ambassadors for the duration of their 4-H career. As S.A.F.E. ambassadors, they will have opportunities to assist with such events as National Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska, and National Congress in Atlanta. As 4-H representatives, they will make sponsor or legislative visits with the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee, appear in media, or attend the Shot Show and other industry and trade shows.

"The National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Institute is an intensive weeklong leadership, communications, public relations and etiquette training experience," said Shannon Andress, State 4-H S.A.F.E. Program Coordinator. "Our 2017 delegates Christina Green and Justin Mitchell will become part of a corps of highly trained youth who provide a youth voice to Alabama Shooting Sports. They will join our other three previously trained 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors Ryan McAndrews, from Jefferson County; Dalton Maddox, from Elmore County; and Dawson Kissik, from Montgomery County."

Mitchell, 15, has been involved in the 4-H S.A.F.E. programs for seven years. A sophomore at Rogers High School, he is a member of their football team, National FFA Organization Livestock team, a History Club member and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. He is also an active member of Center Hill Church of Christ and the Alabama Junior Cattlemen’s Association.

As a longstanding 4-H’er in Lauderdale County, Mitchell is a member of the County 4-H Shotgun and County Archery Clubs, and the 4-H Livestock Judging Team; and has been a Certified Team S.A.F.E. Leader since January 2016.

"Justin has a passion for public speaking and is an accomplished competitor in 4-H, as well as within his church league," Andress added. "His communication skills serve him well, and enhance his leadership abilities in his role representing youth interests on the Lauderdale County 4-H Youth Council."

"I believe I can be beneficial to the 4-H Ambassador program and represent shooting sports in a positive light in the public arena," Mitchell said. "I am a hard worker, hold officer positions in other clubs and will use my experience to influence and educate others about the value of 4-H and youth shooting sports education."

Green, 15, from Enterprise, has been involved in Alabama 4-H for nine years. Her participation in 4-H includes being a member of the County Archery, Horse and Swine Clubs; and the Livestock Judging Team. She just returned from Nebraska on behalf of Alabama 4-H, attending the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship as a member of the Alabama Archery Team.

"Christina’s leadership experience is already impressive," Andress said. "Since 2012, she has served as president of the 4-H Archery Club; is a member of the Coffee County 4-H Youth Council, the National Peanut Festival 4-H Book Committee and the 4-H Community Service Project [Annual Senior Citizen Prom Committee]; was secretary of her sixth-grade 4-H club; and served as vice president of her fifth-grade 4-H Club. She also competes annually in the 4-H Archery Tournament at Buckmasters."

"I can’t wait to see what the years ahead have in store, and appreciate the opportunity Alabama 4-H is providing," Green said. "I look forward to making a positive difference on behalf of 4-H and the shooting sports program as a whole."

Green has enjoyed representing her county at many district, regional, state and national 4-H competitions. She has also taken part in the Alabama Junior Cattlemen’s Roundup events including photography, cattle grooming and livestock judging. She is also a member of the Enterprise High School National FFA Organization and Stakeholder’s Committee.

"Some youth think they have to wait until they become adults to make a difference," Andress said. "Through their 4-H experiences, training and opportunities, Christina and Justin are demonstrating that they have the desire and ability to be leaders. We are excited about their selection to attend the National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Institute and are confident they will return to Alabama with enhanced abilities to help us fulfill the 4-H motto, ‘To Make the Best Better.’"


Donna Reynolds is the communication editor of news and public affairs with ACES in Auburn.