|Jennifer Sirangelo, the new president and CEO of the National 4-H Council.|
For the first time, a woman has become president and CEO of the National 4-H Council.
Jennifer Sirangelo, who had joined the National 4-H Council in 2006 and most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer, succeeds Donald T. Floyd Jr., who retired in December.
Sirangelo told Youth Today she hopes to expand the number of 4-H members while building the 4-H brand.
“Our first goal is to ensure that more young people have a welcome mat to our programs and [to] grow the number of people that have access to 4-H, and second, we’re going to be working on building our brand,” she said. “We have a very strong niche brand and we will be working to tell the powerful story of 4-H today.”
4-H is one of the world’s biggest youth development programs, with 7 million youth participants. The program also has 540,000 volunteer mentors, 3,500 professionals and more than 60 million alumni.
The National 4-H Council is the nonprofit partner of 4-H national headquarters, based at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Young people from elementary school through high school participate in 4-H in urban, suburban and rural farming communities.
U.S. programs serving every county in the country are implemented by 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension. 4-H programs also operate through independent organizations in more than 50 countries.
Sirangelo says 4-H makes a big difference in the lives of young people. She points to a Tufts University study that found 4-H youth in grades seven to 12 were about four times more likely than non-4-H peers to make contributions to their communities, and 4-H youths in grades eight to 12 were about two times more likely to be civically active.
The study also found seventh-grade 4-H members were more likely to make healthier choices and that members in grades 10 to 12 were more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time.
Since joining the National 4-H Council, Sirangelo has more than tripled annual fundraising and led the process to develop the organization’s new strategic plan, 4-H said.
Alison Lewis, who was elected in December as the first chairwoman of the National 4-H Council’s Board of Trustees, praised Sirangelo.
“Jennifer’s passion for the 4-H mission will serve as an important catalyst to help grow 4-H so that even more young people can participate in 4-H programs and make a positive impact in their communities across the U.S. and around the world,” Lewis said in a news release.
Before coming to the National 4-H Council, Sirangelo had served as regional vice president for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She had also worked as vice president of marketing and development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and worked in development for William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and for the National Kidney Foundation.
Sirangelo, who grew up in Missouri, received a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from William Jewell College and a master of public administration degree from Syracuse University and attended St. Peter’s College at Oxford University.