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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Ohio teens grow as global citizens in Greece

Ohio 4-H'ers enjoying a traditional Greek dinner at the residence of the American Farm School's president.

Ohio 4-H’s latest venture in providing transformative educational opportunities for youth took 13 Ohio 4-H members across the Atlantic Ocean to the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece. As participants in the Ohio 4-H Global Immersion – Greece experience, the teens grew as global citizens and engaged in career exploration activities throughout of this 10-day trip.

Throughout their stay at the American Farm School, Ohio 4-H teens embarked on a life-changing adventure as they explored Greek culture and traditions. They participated in dance and cooking lessons, visited historical landmarks like Mount 4-H members participating in a cooking class.Olympus and the monasteries of Meteora, and learned about the world of agriculture through hands-on experiences and interactive workshops led by experts in the field.

“I had never had the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S. prior to this trip and my experiences in Greece met every expectation and hope I had thought up,” said Cooper Schmidt, a Warren County 4-H member. “I am a big history lover and I enjoy outdoor activities, so I loved seeing the historical sites and ancient Greek ruins. It was also great to meet all the very friendly and 4-H members taking part in a tour around Thessaloniki.compassionate people in Greece, even in brief interactions.”

The teens gained valuable insight into Greek agricultural practices as they worked alongside students from the American Farm School in internship experiences. They rotated between units focused on animal production, plant production, and food science and technology, creating opportunities for the youth to explore different career pathways.

"The Ohio 4-H Global Immersion – Greece experience represents a unique opportunity for our youth to broaden their perspectives and develop essential 4-H members smiling for a photo in Meteora.skills for the future,” said Steve Brady, Extension educator for 4-H in Warren County and one of the trip leaders. “By exploring Greek culture and engaging in career exploration at the American Farm School, our 4-H teens are not only expanding their horizons but also paving the way for future success."

The trip also provided a platform for cultural exchange, as Ohio 4-H teens had the opportunity to connect with local peers and forge lasting friendships. “I loved going out for dinners with everyone,” said Kaelynn Mishne, a 4-H member from Franklin County. “It was exciting to try so many new foods, and we always had such good conversations. Getting to connect with the Greek people was really impactful and the cultural experiences that went along with these interactions always felt so 4-H'ers leading students at the American Farm School in team building activities.special.”

As they returned home, the 4-H participants shared a new appreciation for global diversity and a renewed sense of purpose. “I learned a lot more about myself and the other participants than I was expecting to through this experience,” said Mishne. “Our group did check-ins every evening and shared our highs and lows of the day. It was interesting to see the ways that our highs and lows differed, and it was really refreshing that everyone was so vulnerable and transparent with their answers.”

Through this journey of exploration and discovery, the teens have gained valuable insights into their own potential and the endless possibilities that await them in the world. “This trip taught me to be more open to new things and how to really understand different cultures and ideas through interacting with local people,” said Schmidt. “It was an incredible experience.”