The 4-H Honors Program has three levels - bronze, silver and gold. Youths must begin at the bronze level and work their way up to silver and gold levels.
The bronze level focuses on the youth's participation in 4-H activities, citizenship and leadership. Young people may use their experiences as a junior 4-H'ers to meet the necessary criteria for this level. Youths who wish to participate must be at least 14-years-old by the start of the current honors program year, which begins Jan. 1.
The silver level builds on what 4-H'ers have achieved at the bronze level and gives them the opportunity to improve their communication and leadership skills. At this level, youths talk to others in the community, both younger and older, about their personal experiences in 4-H and ways the 4-H program aided in their development. Youths who are at least 15-years-old may apply for the silver level.
A step further from the silver level is the gold level. At this level, 4-H'ers lead a group of individuals in completing a service project in their community. The 4-H'ers interviews community members about problems in the community, decides on one problem to concentrate on for a project, develops the project and leads a group of individuals to complete it.
In addition to earning the distinction as a 4-H honors program member, youths can apply for a chance to attend the National 4-H Congress as a delegate and earn a $500 savings bond. To be eligible, youth must have reached the bronze level. Only 25 young people in the state will be invited to attend the leadership conference in Atlanta, Georgia. A $500 savings bond will be awarded to the gold level 4-H'ers with the best community service project. Youths who win these awards and advance in the honors program will be recognized during the 4-H Teen Conference in June.
The 4-H Honors Program provides young people with essential leadership skills that can help them mature into successful, community-minded adults. Applications for the 2009 4-H Honors Program year are due by Dec. 15. Applicants must have been at least 14-years-old by Jan. 1, 2008. For more information on the honors program and opportunities available through 4-H, contact the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service at 270-726-6323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.