July 17, 2017

News Release

For Immediate Release

EDITOR'S NOTE: Members of the media may contact Jeannette Rea–Keywood of the Rutgers 4‑H Youth Development Program by phone at
609–827–0199 or by email at reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.

New Jersey 4-H Teens Boost Leadership and Civic Engagement Skills at Citizenship Washington Focus Conference

New Jersey 4‑H Members learned about government processes in the vibrant, living classroom of the nation's capital as part of Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), an intensive 4‑H civic engagement program for high–school youth held at the National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The New Jersey 4‑H delegation of 19 youth and 2 adult chaperones attended Week 6 of the conference from July 9–15.

The delegates attending this year's conference were:

  • Atlantic County: Benjamin Taylor
  • Burlington County: Shannon McBride and Ashlynn Sharkus
  • Cape May County: Annabella Halbruner and Victoria McCann
  • Cumberland County: Jillian Tozer
  • Gloucester County: Lydia Dambra and Grayson Link
  • Hunterdon County: Joseph Coppola, Gianna Novak, and Mercy Stehlin
  • Monmouth County: Alicia Muench
  • Morris County: Kristen Briney and Parris Johnson
  • Somerset County: Melanie Quick, Katherine Ann Gallagher, Teresa Buzzoni, Noah Rothenburger, and Alexander Gonzalez

For the past 58 years, the National 4‑H Youth Conference Center has invited 4‑H members from across the country to travel to Washington, DC and participate in civic workshops, committees, and field trips before returning home to make positive changes in their own communities. CWF not only strengthens young people's understanding of the government's civic process, but it also boosts their leadership skills, communication skills, and overall confidence.

During CWF, youth get a behind–the–scenes look at the nation's capital while meeting with Members of Congress to learn more about how their government works. At the end of the program, youth develop action plans to address important issues in their communities.

"CWF is a great opportunity for young people to come together, discuss the problems they see in their communities, and identify solutions to make their communities stronger. The experiences that young people gain during CWF gives them the proper tools and confidence to become successful, articulate leaders in the future." said Jeannette Rea Keywood, State 4‑H Agent, Department of 4‑H Youth Development.

The 4‑H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station – Cooperative Extension. 4‑H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K–13, on an age–appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law.

For more information about the New Jersey 4‑H Program visit the 4‑H website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu.


Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an qual opportunity program provider and employer.

Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station