Nimo and Marwo: Teen Leaders in Maine and Beyond
Nimo and Marwo have both been involved with the Portland High School 4-H Club and Community Central for about two years. They have taken part in many 4-H activities, including being pages for the House and Senate on UMaine Day, community service projects, college visits in New York and Philadelphia, 4-H Public Speaking, Healthy Living Summit, Citizen Washington Focus, and being teen teachers with the Maine 4-H Summer of Science (SOS) Program.
Recently, both teens attended the first Teen Leaders in Equity Institute, held at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chace, MD. The event included 26 youth-adult pairs “to be change agents within the Cooperative Extension System as we work to create more welcoming and inclusive environments.” While attending the Equity Institute, Nimo enjoyed talking with other teens about “how we can support our community and have understanding, keeping that in your heart. We talked about our first concepts, first impressions, and judgment [of others].”
Before starting 4-H, Nimo says she was not really comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people. By training to be an SOS teen teacher and by participating in 4-H Public Speaking as a sophomore and again as a junior, she has gained skills that have supported her 4-H projects and her school work. While at the Equity Institute, both teens presented in front of all the attendees. Nimo shared an original speech, a story of being included or excluded, and also introduced the event’s keynote speaker. Marwo recited a poem written by Amal Ahmed Albaz.
“When I went to the Equity Institute I presented about my own thing, what I think about.
4-H is helping me to share my story with other people, helping to share what I feel with so many people.” -Nimo
Both teens also credit the Maine 4-H Summer of Science program with preparing them to participate in public speaking events. Nimo shares that “if I want to be a teacher, [working with SOS offers] good practice and improvement of public speaking skills. And working with little kids… you have to have a lot of patience!”
“It’s not something where you only earn money. You are learning and not wasting your whole summer saying at home.”
“Come join us! 4-H helps connect you with other people, being outside in our community and what we do is helpful in the community. It’s not boring! If you want to do fun things and teach science in the summer join us!” -Marwo