‘4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization whose members respond to every day challenges in their communities and all around the world. There are over 6 million 4-H members continuously building revolutionary opportunities and implementing community wide change at an early age. There are 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and over 60 million alumni, all supporting young people from elementary school through high school with programs that are uniquely designed to shape future leaders and innovators.’
The 4-H’s stand for: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. These are the values that members of 4-H live by when engaging in work. They believe your Head manages thinking, your Heart is relating and caring, your Hands are giving and working, and your Health is being and living.
Their network is very extensive and reaches all around the country. This organization is promoted by research-driven programming, and the 4-H’ers take on hands-on learning activities in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.
4-H promotes an innovative, “learn by doing” approach that has proven results. There was a longitudinal study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, shows youth engaged with 4-H are:
- Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school;
- Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college;
- 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and
- 25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.
‘The caring support of adult volunteers and mentors inspires young people in 4-H to work collaboratively, take the lead on their own projects and set and achieve goals with confidence. 4-H’ers chart their own course, explore important issues and define their place in the world. 4-H’ers stand up for themselves and their communities. These pivotal experiences build a foundation of leadership and skills for success in their future careers.’