FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- No visit to the Minnesota State Fair is complete without a trip to see some of the many animals on display. 4-H youth are familiar sights with livestock. In the 4-H building this year you'll also find youth showing off arts and crafts, science projects, computer skills, performing arts and more.
A team of real leaders keeps it all on track, both at the fair and throughout the year. These are the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors.
"We're here to help a lot of the first-timers," said Lucia Davila Alvarez of Ramsey county. "A lot of the time it can be really overwhelming being in this big building and not knowing what to do and where to go."
Alvarez is now out of high school, starting her freshman year at Augsburg College. She brings with her an impressive set of leadership skills. Not only does she and the other ambassadors work behind the scenes at the fair, they've been working on behalf of 4-H all year, planning and leading both regional and state conferences.
"Our regional conference this year we had 500 kids participate," explained Laura Wyatt, who is attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus this year. "It was crazy to think about we're going to have 500 people that we have to engage, and just enjoy the programming."
Davila Alvarez used the opportunity to teach 4-H youth about their expanding world. "My passion was diversity," she said. "I really enjoyed that because it just kind of brought a broader picture to some 4H-ers."
"I'm a third generation 4-H-er," said Wyatt. "I've always felt so passionate about promoting the program and telling people how great it us for you and adult volunteers as well."
Wyatt wants to make a career out of 4-H, which she credits for teaching her life skills. "It gave me so much confidence," said Wyatt. "I will truly remember my 4-H friends and my 4-H experience for the rest of my life."