Three years ago, Jayla Cannon from Lake Forest High School in Felton joined 4-H through an afterschool program. After a short time, 4-H leader Sequoia Rent invited Jayla to become an IM40 youth leader. Since then, Jayla has excelled in the role.
Jayla is now an active 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador, representing both 4-H and IM40 at community dinners, making presentations in our nation’s capital and co-facilitating IM40 asset-building sessions in youth-adult partnerships across Delaware. She has become a true youth leader.
When young people are introduced to IM40, they first prepare an assessment of the number of developmental assets they have in their life. Developmental assets are those skills, experiences, relationships and behaviors that help young people become successful, contributing adults. Most experts agree that there are 40 developmental assets available to young people (hence the name IM40) and the closer a teen gets to 40, the better the chances he or she will thrive as an adult.
When Jayla began with IM40, she counted eight developmental assets out of 40. Today, Jayla believes she can actually boast more than 40 developmental assets in her life! Jayla not only has more self-confidence and self-esteem, but she is applying herself more. Her increased planning and motivation helped move Jayla into honors classes in high school for the first time. She’s also planning her own asset building project so she can become an asset builder for other youth in the community and will be starting a healthy living vlog! In addition to all of these achievements, the members of Jayla’s 4-H club elected her an officer.
IM40 gave Jayla the confidence and the means to start down a path to a brighter future. When she started with IM40, Jayla wanted to become a veterinarian. But those plans have changed. Now, Jayla dreams of studying to be a pediatric nurse. She’s currently working with a mentor to determine which colleges best align with her career ambitions.