Network for Youth Success profiles Board Member, 4-H Program Leader Andy Turner
Andy Turner, the Program Leader for the New York State 4-H Youth Development Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension, has been at Cornell since 2012. The State 4-H Office is part of the College of Human Ecology and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca. Andy has also been a board member for the Network for Youth Success since its beginnings.
We asked Andy about what he finds most fulfilling about being a member of the board. He stated, “Board members and staff are all incredibly committed and passionate about the work. I think everyone is very clear on what the work is about and why it matters to our youth, families, and overall quality of life here in New York State.” Andy added that he feels energized and optimistic about the future after every board meeting.
Andy says his support for the Network’s mission has fueled his active involvement in the work. He remarked further, “It has been an honor to try and contribute to the mission and vision of the organization, network with the amazing partners and staff involved, and also learn more about afterschool program delivery in particular as that delivery method continues to be more and more important to the future of 4-H.”
He pointed out that the mission of 4-H is very similar to the mission of the Network in that they are both working to ensure that positive youth development principles are incorporated into programs at all levels. Andy told us, “I think a big part of the future of youth development is going to be collaboration among schools, non-profits, and government. We need to share space, resources, and find new approaches to our work that build on the unique assets and strengths that different organizations bring to the table. I like the challenge of trying to figure all of that out.”
Andy also included that 4-H is known historically as more of a rural, agriculture oriented youth program. However, they reached over 180,000 New York State youth ages 5-19 in 2018 working in every New York State County and in New York City. The 4-H of 2019 is organized around the four pillar areas of STEM, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living, and Agriculture and Food Systems. Andy urged that they “provide opportunities for youth to find their spark, engage with positive adult mentors, and develop a passion or skill that might last a lifetime. Leading and collaborating with other institutions to deliver high quality youth programming in the classroom and during the afterschool setting is a rapidly growing strategy in 4-H.”
For more information about the Network for Youth Success board, contact Kelly Sturgis.