The Minnesota 4-H program held its YELLO! State Leadership Conference June 11-14 at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul, hosting 225 youth from across the region.

"YELLO! is an incredible experience for Minnesota youth in grades 6 and up," said Jacquie Lonning, civic engagement and leadership director at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. "Youth have an opportunity to meet people from throughout the state, engage in educational workshops, learn from service projects, and make a commitment to improving their community."

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YELLO! - Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Out loud - is an annual leadership conference offered in St. Paul. This year's theme, "Out of This World," encouraged youth to think globally, but act locally.

During the event, youth attended skill-building workshops on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus, performed service projects with several nonprofits, learned about important community issues from their peers, and developed new friendships with youth from across the state.

The experience was planned and facilitated by youth leaders from the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador program and supported by a team of adult chaperones.

Alyssa Mitchell and McKinna Greggersen were attendees representing Becker County 4-H.

"YELLO! has shown me that leadership isn't about being in charge, it's about helping the people around me that could be going through hard times," Greggersen said. "It has shown me the impact I can have on people I don't even know. YELLO! has taught me about stuff I've never thought about in order to become a better leader and person."

4-H offers leadership and civic engagement experiences throughout the year.