Illini Summer Academies By Jazmine Hall

Connecting 4-H’ers while providing college experience

Illini Summer Academies Sign serves as directions for 4-H’ers. Photo by Jazmine Hall

Every year in late June, 4-H’ers travel to Champaign, Illinois for the Illini Summer academies. Not only is the Illini summer academies a way for teenagers to experience campus life at UIUC, it is also a way to unite 4-H’ers for an epic week of exchanging … as well as building 4-H memories.

4-H displays show state opportunities. Photo by Jazmine Hall

The Illini Summer Academies is a great opportunity for teens to enjoy  the beautiful U of I Campus. It is also a time to explore the different ways to be active in 4-H, and to learn about what other counties do in 4-H.

This is done through mixers, teen building activities, and 4-H displays highlighting the different clubs and organizations in 4-H. This helps provide information about new opportunities to 4-H’ers and show those who are not heavily involved in 4-H what they can do.

Group of ISA girls pose for a picture during downtime in their academy. Photo by Jazmine Hall

Another thing that the Illini Summer Academies does is help create bonds between fellow 4-H’ers from different areas such as rural and urban. 4-H’ers get to share their differences in living and experiences and talk about their commonalities, one of which is 4-H. Every night the teens spend time socializing with each other through games, trivia and friendly competition, getting to learn about each other and 4-H better. You can hear a 4-H teen talk about why ISA is so great for meeting new people here.

Students from the Chemistry academy watch with delight as their Professor discusses experiment. Photo by Jazmine Hall

The time spent in academies is a way for 4-H’ers to further their knowledge by spending their days with University professors in topics they are interested in. This is also another way  for teens to forge new relationships from learning with their peers who are also in their academy. As they watch cool chemistry experiments together, put together human skeletal systems, and try to find that perfect shot for their journalism articles, they become closer while having fun.

All in all, the Illini Summer Academies brings together 4-H’ers for five days of fun, friendships and learning while providing an opportunity to experience campus life. The days spent on the U of I campus will leave 4-H’ers with friends made from time spent together in academies and from doing mixers and teen building. It will also give teens better knowledge of 4-H opportunities, as mentioned by an ISA committee planner here.

For more information on the Illini Summer Academies as well as how to register please go here.

 

 

REFLECTION

Photo of Jazmine Hall taken by MyKeisha Wells

While being in the Journalism academy was frustrating at times, it was still very rewarding. I have been coming to ISA for three years and have always enjoyed my academies. This year wasn’t any different. It was very nice to be given creative control over a project that was very open ended in terms of which direction it could be taken in. Having to come up with a story and compile photos, interviews and information to make it interesting and correct helped me learn how to focus on one topic and write only to that topic. Through this academy I was a able to learn the hard work and diligent resource compiling that journalists go through to make a story. I would 10/10 recommend this academy to future ISA attendees who are looking for fun mixed with challenge.

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