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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Ross County teens explore new cultures

Ross County teens smile for a group photo during the NUDGE trip.

In January 4-H members from Ross County spent a day in Cincinnati immersing themselves in new experiences and learning about different cultures. As a part of the first Ross County 4-H NUDGE (Normalizing Understanding Diverse Growth Experiences) trip, teens stepped out of their comfort zones and treated their senses as they opened themselves up to new sights, sounds, tastes, feelings, and smells.

The group started their morning off right with a trip to Marx Bagels, a classic kosher bagel shop that has been serving Cincinnati since 1969. In addition to The group visiting Marx Bagels for breakfast.learning about kosher laws and how they impact the dietary habits of Jewish people, the teens were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the shop and learned how bagels are made.

Their next stop took them to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center where they explored our nation’s history with slavery, from the 17th century to modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Through a self-guided tour, they learned about the role Cincinnati played in the Underground Railroad and gained a better understanding of how this struggle for freedom persists today.

For lunch, the 4-H members visited Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, and wandered through the stalls selling everything from fresh meat and The NUDGE group touring the Nancy and David World Holocaust and Humanity Center.produce to cultural dishes and treats. They had the opportunity to try new foods and order directly from the different vendors and merchants in the market.

In the afternoon, the group went on a guided tour of the Nancy and David World Holocaust and Humanity Center and participated in a workshop where they identified character traits within themselves that they could use to become upstanders, rather than bystanders, in their everyday lives. One teen said, “Because of the trip, I hope to become more aware of my surroundings and believe that if I see an issue, I will jump up to be an upstander. I want to be able to help people and make the world a better place.”

To close out the day the Ross County group enjoyed Argentinian cuisine at The Butcher and Barrel before stopping at the Aronoff Center to watch a Teens enjoying dinner at an Argentinian restaurant in Cincinnati.Broadway play. “The Argentinian restaurant allowed our youth to immerse themselves in culture through food, trying new flavor combinations and exploring dining etiquette,” said Ryan Kline, Extension educator for 4-H in Ross County.

In addition to the cultural immersion trip, the group participated in pre-trip training to explore the meaning of culture and differences, as well as several post-trip processing activities to reflect on what they experienced, how it made them feel, and the ways they expanded their comfort zones. The teens shared that this experience gave them a greater sense of confidence in engaging with cultural differences and learning about diversity, saying that it helped them have a more open mind.

“I know more information about the history of our world and Ohio,” said one teen during a reflection activity. Another participant said, “Because of the trip, I am better prepared to work with, understand, and support people who don't see the world like me."