LAKE COUNTY — While COVID-19 has presented new obstacles to navigate, Lake County 4-H program’s commitment to positive youth development is unwavering and 4-H remains present to support youth during this pandemic crisis. We all have a vested interest in seeing youth succeed, which is why Lake County 4-H partnered with Michigan State University’s Make a Difference CrowdPower Campaign, an online funding platform.

During the month of October, donors who visited the CrowdPower Campaign site were able to select from multiple projects — including Lake County 4-H — and donate directly to the cause that matters most to them. The CrowdPower Campaign raised $1,725 for Lake County youth to have access to free, hands-on educational resources such as 4-H Learning Kits monthly while the pandemic runs it course.

Youth in 4-H participate in various program areas through the learn-by-doing approach. In addition to gaining valuable content knowledge, 4-H teaches critical life skills such as goal setting, self-discipline, conflict resolution and teamwork that directly contributes positively to the community. The growth of these life skills is just one of the many positive youth development outcomes that occur from youth's participation in 4-H and result in a direct impact on not only themselves, but how others interact as well.

Supporting existing youth programs and expanding them to accommodate the needs and interests of all our youth, must be a communitywide, if not a countywide, priority. Programs such as 4-H can help build a stronger foundation for our youth and families.

For more information about the Lake County 4-H program, contact Laurie Platte Breza at platteb1@msu.edu.