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Courtesy photo.

4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, is calling on alumni and supporters to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently, 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including more than 190,000 4-Hers in Missouri.

“Having experienced our programs firsthand, our alumni know best what a positive impact 4-H had on them growing up, which is why we’re reaching out to them to support the next generation of true leaders,” said Alison Copeland, University of Missouri Extension 4-H interim program leader.

“Whether they’re running Fortune 100 companies, performing to sold-out crowds, leading community programs or volunteering to empower local youth, 4-H alumni are the epitome of true leadership,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council president and CEO. “Our alumni and supporters across the country now have the perfect opportunity to support 4-H youth in their communities, ensuring that the next generation has the opportunity to benefit from the 4-H experience.”

As part of the Raise Your Hand campaign, which runs through May 15, 4-H is asking supporters in Missouri to “Raise Your Hand” to help kids in their community by providing the hands-on learning that only 4-H provides.

To join, alumni can go to www.4-H.org/RaiseYourHand and fill in their details. Raising your hand is a vote toward a $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000 award for the states with the most hands raised.

“4-H gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing, to grow from not only the encouragements brought by success but also through challenges and failures, as these skills will help them to handle whatever life may throw their way,” says Jennifer Nettles, Grammy-award winning musician, actress and 4-H national alumni spokesperson.

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