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National 4-H Conference Teens Tackle Bullying Issue

During the 4-H Conference, one working group brainstormed ideas on how to better reach teens through social media.During the 4-H Conference, one working group brainstormed ideas on how to better reach teens through social media.

The National 4-H Conference is the premier 4-H Site exit disclaimer civic engagement experience for youth across the country. The conference provides an opportunity for 4-H members to increase knowledge, resources, and skills that will empower them to make an impact on their community in a meaningful and genuine way.

In early April, more than 200 teens from across the country as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, met in Washington, DC for the National 4-H Conference. As part of the event, teens teamed up to work on projects related to important issues affecting young people—including bullying.

The topic of bullying received a lot of interest last year, leading to two bullying prevention working groups for this year’s conference. The working groups were tasked with addressing two areas:

  • Evaluating a Training Module for Teens
  • Reaching Teens through Social Media and Tumblr

Each group spent several days developing their perspectives on these two topics. Towards the end of the conference, the youth provided a briefing presentation for HHS leaders working on bullying prevention.

The Training Module team provided feedback on the Bullying Prevention Training Module and how it could be effectively used to teach teens. The group found that the materials could potentially be adapted into an anti-bullying event which would serve to raise awareness and launch additional, longer-term initiatives.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but the group overcame their struggles and worked together beautifully as a team,” said Jennifer Gibson, the module group facilitator. “I am very proud of the things that they accomplished and I am confident that this conference had a positive impact on each and every one of them.”

The Social Media/Tumblr team worked diligently to not only think of creative ideas for StopBullying.gov’s new Tumblr page Site exit disclaimer and provide feedback on content, but actually create the pieces they had envisioned. These included clever takes on popular memes, as well as thoughtful images that reminded teens that everyone deserves to be loved.

“In a beautiful moment where everyone used their own skills and resources to their fullest potential, the team pulled together and truly wowed the Federal Partners,” said Logan Oates, the social media team’s facilitator. “This was truly an experience for these young people they won’t soon forget.”

Their interest in the topic won’t stop after the conference ends, many delegates plan to stay engaged and involved in their communities—and online.

Visit our Tumblr page Site exit disclaimer to see more photos from this event.