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Texas 4-H Youth Development

TEEA 2019 Winner: Youth

Water Ambassadors Program

The Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors Program was created in 2017 as an extension of the youth development program. This program provides high schoolers with the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and practice leadership skills involving science, technology, engineering, and management of water in Texas.

The ambassadors advocate for water conservation and protection by educating others, performing service projects, and collaborating with local water industry and education professionals.

Selected applicants from across the state participate in an eight-day tour of Texas to experience and learn about the science, technology, engineering, and management of water in Texas. Ambassadors are given the opportunity to interact with representatives from state water agencies, educators, policy-makers, and water resource managers to gain insight into water law, policy, and planning across the state.

After the tour, each ambassador commits to a minimum of 40 hours of annual service to educate their peers on the value of water resources at local 4-H clubs, schools, fairs, and community events. The ambassadors also assist local water utilities and conservation districts in conducting outreach activities and water-related demonstration projects. The program allows students to broaden their perspective on water resources in Texas while also developing leadership skills.

The goal of the program is to build capacity among youth leaders from diverse backgrounds, and from both rural and urban regions, who possess the knowledge, initiative, maturity, and leadership ability to promote water education in their community and beyond. Currently, there are 42 students representing 37 Texas counties who have provided more than 600 hours of service—reaching roughly 12,000 people with water conservation and environmental protection education. Each year, approximately 30 new ambassadors join.