Academic journal article Human Ecology

Citizen U Teen Earns Top 4-H Award

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Citizen U Teen Earns Top 4-H Award

Article excerpt

A native of South Sudan, Binghamton teen Nosa Akol recalls how middle school classmates bullied her about her dark skin color, causing her to become insecure and isolated. Through CITIZEN U in Broome County, Akol overcame these challenges by gaining confidence and communication and leadership skills. Now she's the recipient of the 2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, the organization's highest honor.

Akol was selected from more than 80 candidates nationwide for creating good in her community, empowering peers, and overcoming personal challenges. Along with a $10,000 scholarship for college expenses, Akol was honored at National 4-H Council's sixth annual Legacy Awards April 23 in Washington, D.C., where she shared her story of triumph.

"CITIZEN U 4-H turned all this around and became a light for good in my life," says Akol, who joined the program as a high school freshman. "The program taught me to accept myself for who I am, to feel good about myself, and helped me to let go of all the hate and anger."

As a CITIZEN U teen leader, Akol led a Great Pothole Solution Project to fix Binghamton city streets and a Taste the Rainbow nutrition education program to help local kids adopt healthier lifestyles. …

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