$56,800 Grant Awarded to Upper Peninsula Counties

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Houghton, MI – Michigan 4-H is pleased to be named one of fifteen states around the country receiving funds through the National 4-H Council to implement the 4-H Tech Changemakers: Digital Ambassadors project. This program is an initiative that began as part of the partnership between the National 4-H Council and Microsoft to help close the connectivity gap in rural areas

Michigan’s $56,800 grant award is empowering teens to bring technology and digital skills access to their communities in Dickinson, Gogebic, Iron, and Menominee Counties in the Upper Peninsula.

The 4-H Tech Changemakers program puts teens at the forefront of creating change in their communities, empowering them to serve as digital ambassadors by equipping them with the tools, resources, and technical partners to help them be successful. In each community, teens are working to develop a unique projects using their skills and leadership to help make a difference in their communities.

In the Upper Peninsula, 4-H Digital Ambassadors will teach technology skills during community workshops to help close the digital skills gap and introduce more people to the opportunities that broadband internet can provide. Community workshops will be held for any adult wishing to learn how to use a word processor, safely access the internet, safe social media access, and a host of other digital challenges.

“We are ecstatic to have received funds to help bridge the rural broadband gap,” said Anne Kretschmann, Houghton-Keweenaw County 4-H Program coordinator. “This

funding allows us to elevate teens as teachers; building youth leadership and communication skills while providing digital skills training to assist adults in our communities.”

Michigan 4-H is seeking teens in Dickinson, Gogebic, Iron, and Menominee Counties to help implement this project. Through this project, 4-H teens will have the opportunity to grow their leadership and communication skills, identify and address local digital needs, and build digital skills for their future careers. 4-H Digital Ambassadors will attend digital skills training hosted by the National 4-H Council and Microsoft and receive mentoring by national experts. A trained adult will be in attendance at learning sessions to assist the youth and teen facilitators will be trained throughout the year.

Michigan State University Extension 4-H helps youth put knowledge to work and to add to their future job readiness. For more information about the 4-H Digital Ambassador program or to learn about getting involved, contact Anne Kretschmann at kretsc11@msu.edu or 906-482-5830.

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