Cullman County’s Grayson Randall attends inaugural 4-H Leadership Academy

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Left to right are Walton Butterworth, Ryan Teague, Joel Roth, Grayson Randall, Brianna Fleming, Camryn Humphries and Joy Scott. (Alabama Cooperative Extension System)

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. –  Five Alabama 4-H members are among the 25 students selected nationwide to attend the inaugural 4-H Leadership Academy. The academy is made possible through the National 4-H Council’s partnership with Joel Roth, an Atlanta-based businessman and philanthropist. Roth provided a $1.1 million gift to launch the 4-H Leadership Academy.

“The problems facing our society are getting bigger and bigger, and more and more lasting,” Roth said. “It’s increasingly important that we prepare young people to be thoughtful, effective leaders who are well positioned to take on these challenges.”

This two-year pilot will provide high school students with career skills that business leaders seek — including communication, leadership, ethics, conflict resolution and social responsibility.

Alabama 4-H Roth Scholars

Joy Scott, an Alabama 4-H leadership and citizenship specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said the investment Roth is making is life changing.

“We understand the value of leadership skills as we prepare our members for their future careers and community involvement,” Scott said. “We strive to instill citizenship and leadership values in our members. This academy will allow them to gain experiences and build relationships outside the boundaries of our state.”

Known as Roth Scholars, the academy’s first cohort includes 4-H participants based at five land-grant universities through Cooperative Extension. Auburn University’s Alabama 4-H members include the following:

  • Walton Butterworth, Baldwin County
  • Brianna Fleming, Marion County
  • Camryn Humphries, Clay County
  • Grayson Randall, Cullman County
  • Ryan Teague, Limestone County

The other four land-grant universities include Rutgers, Ohio State, Idaho and Minnesota.

4-H Leadership Academy

Jill Bramble, president and CEO of National 4-H Council, said the 4-H Leadership Academy advances a commitment shared by 4-H and Roth: to help young people develop the skills they need to prepare for work and life.

“We thank Mr. Roth for his gratitude and this avenue to share leadership skills where our young people can learn, grow and be work ready,” Bramble said.

Through the academy, 4-H members will receive stipends to support research projects that address community challenges. These lessons learned will allow Roth Scholars to make research-based impacts in their communities.

“4-H’s national reach, university-backed expertise, network of highly trained educators, in-person and virtual programming options and longstanding reputation make them the perfect positive youth development partner for this new academy,” Roth said.

More information

For more information on the 4-H Leadership Academy or to request interviews with Roth, National 4-H Council leadership or the Roth Scholars, contact 4hcouncil@ssmandl.com.