Nebraska teens learn at Healthy Living Summit |

Nebraska teens learn at Healthy Living Summit

Kyra Lewis (left) and Sydnee Strain at the state showcase during the National 4-H Helathy Living Summit, talking about Nebraska’s programs. Photo courtesy UNL Extension

Kyra Lewis of Mitchell High School and Sydnee Strain of Scottsbluff High School represented Nebraska at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit Feb. 12-15 in Washington D.C., where they learned ways of improving physical, emotional, and social health, part of a group of 246 attendees from 23 states.

The 4-H Healthy Living Summit is part of the National 4-H Council Youth Summit Series, which includes the Maker, Agri-Science, and Healthy Living Summits. The purpose of the series is to bring together experts in each topic and give youth the opportunity to not only engage with the subject matter, but also create action plans to take home.

Youth attending the Healthy Living Summit participated in discussions and presentations on bullying, distracted driving, nutrition, and physical activity. Part of each day was dedicated to working on their action plans to present to the group and take back to their home states.

The trip was funded by the National 4-H Council and the ConAgra 4-H Food Smart Families program. The Food Smart Families Program is designed for 8- to 12-year-olds to become engaged in making healthy choices and learning basic cooking skills through interaction with a Teen Youth Ambassador and an adult educator from Nebraska Extension. The children take home ingredients for some of the recipes they prepare though the program and have an opportunity to invite their parents to see what they are learning.

Kyra Lewis serves as the ConAgra 4-H Food Smart Families Teen Youth Ambassador for Scotts Bluff and Morrill Counties for the 2015-16 academic year. In this capacity she has taught nutrition, physical activity, and cooking skills alongside the Panhandle Research and Extension Center Nutrition Education Program Assistant in summer programs and after school settings.

Sydnee Strain is a member of the Mitchell Valley 4-H Club and has completed extensive cooking projects in Food Works, Tasty Tidbits, and Six Easy Bites among others. Many of her projects were chosen for the Nebraska State Fair. Her Nebraska Teen Pageants platform was 4-H Dream, Believe, Become. She stays active by showing cattle, sheep, and goats as well as playing basketball during the school year. Alongside 4-H, Sydnee is active in FFA.

Both teens expressed excitement to share their ideas for establishing healthy habits early and worked to brainstorm ideas for local implementation.

Erin Kampbell, Nebraska Extension Assistant, accompanied the teens to Washington D.C. She leads the 4-H Food Smart Families program in Scotts Bluff and Morrill Counties and acts as mentor for Teen Youth Ambassador Kyra Lewis.

–UNL Extension

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