Washington County student represents Utah at National 4-H Congress

DIAMOND VALLEY – Madison Johnson, a 17-year-old Dixie High School student, has been selected as one of five youth from across Utah to represent the state at the National 4-H Congress being held in Atlanta, Ga. this week.

The congress is a unique leadership opportunity for more than 1,200 4-H members from all 50 states. The event focuses on leadership, youth empowerment, community service, career development and cultural diversity. There are many outstanding leadership workshops along with keynote speakers that round out the experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 4-H members.

Utah sends approximately five members plus one adult advisor to the event each year. To be considered as a delegate, youth must be an active member of 4-H and keep an intricate record of all leadership and service activities. These records, compiled in a portfolio, are then judged, and finalists selected based on the top-ranked portfolios. The finalists then undergo an intense interview process.

17-year-old Utah 4-H representative Madison Johnson, Diamond Valley, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Pam Johnson

The daughter of Pam Johnson and Brian Johnson of Diamond Valley, Madison Johnson has been involved in 4-H for the past five years. In January 2011, she was a member of the 4-H National Champion Family and Consumer Science Bowl Team for Washington County. In April 2011, she was named as a Utah Delegate to the National 4-H Conference held in Washington, D.C., and served as part of a National Roundtable which developed curriculum for the government’s Anti-Bullying Campaign.

She is an active member of the 4-H Teen Leadership Program, has served as a Southwest Region Ambassador and recently completed service as a Utah State Ambassador for 2011-12, during which she held the responsibility to plan and carry out state-wide leadership programs and training for youth ages 12 and up. She has participated in a variety of other 4-H programs, including Personal Development and Leadership, Consumer and Family Sciences, Communications and Expressive Arts, Healthy Lifestyles and Plants and Animals.

A senior at Dixie, Madison Johnson is a member of the National Honor Society, the Pep Club and the Interact Service Club. She is an Honor Roll student and currently involved in the Social Sciences Sterling Scholar competition. She is a recipient of the Young Women’s Recognition and Honor Bee from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Distinguished Presidential Service Award for four consecutive years and Washington County’s 2011 Outstanding Youth of the Year. Her total scholarships and award prizes total over $15,000. Having received the Dean’s Scholarship to Utah State University, she plans on attending in the fall to pursue her interests in youth mentoring and history before serving a mission for her church.

4-H is more than just an extracurricular program for Madison Johnson; it is a way of life.

“(It) has helped me develop a drive and ambition,” she said.  “I have goals and plans to accomplish them and want to continue to be a leader to make a difference for others.”

Submitted by: Assistant Professor Paul Hill, Utah State University Cooperative Extension and Pam Johnson

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