2023 – Celebrating A Year Of Opportunity, Innovation And Partnership

By National 4-H Council January 02, 2024

It was an action-packed 2023, with the 4-H team and our incredible partners again showing what's possible when we work together to prepare our youth for their future! Our shared commitment to fostering success, empowerment, and community engagement will continue inspiring millions of kids to find their spark and explore their passion in 2024, creating impact in every corner of the country.

4-H launched the year with our inaugural event, Ignite by 4-H. This four-day teen event saw over 700 youth from around the country visit Washington, D.C., for inspiring panels, speakers, workshops, and entertainment, all while creating important connections with peers, educators, and industry leaders. The event was so successful that 2024 Ignite is already sold out – with a 30% increase in capacity!

Our PYD Academies, which equip 4-H educators with the essential knowledge and skills to plan, implement, and evaluate high-quality 4-H programs that help youth thrive, also grew out of their pilot stage. This year, the Academies will feature new multi-day, multi-session Academies and half-day Immersions. Given the excellent evaluations, attendance is projected to grow 15-20% for the next three years.

The eLearning team was busy with the successful launch of CLOVER by 4-H, bringing hybrid PYD to thousands of kids nationwide. We're aiming for 35% year-on-year growth in platform users and an increase in activities from 187 to over 300 over the next three years.

And what would summer be without camp? When it comes to providing a child with a life-changing experience, there's nothing quite like 4-H camp, which provides the full benefits of a 4-H experience coupled with the fun and wonder of camping in the great outdoors. By giving kids the gift of a 4-H camp experience, our partners enable them to experience activities outside their comfort zones, helping them become more resilient, independent, and better able to plan and reach their long-term goals.

The Cause Marketing team was hard at work in 2023, bringing two new partners on board, Crayola Flowers and Solvet; having a record-breaking year with JOANN, which raised $1.2M for 4-H; and reaching a massive milestone with Tractor Supply, which has raised $20M over the 13-year partnership! The funds generated from these campaigns ensure that young people nationwide can access our transformative programming. In the coming months, we are looking forward to a new 4-H offering from our friends at BOGS Boots and continuing to celebrate incredible 4-H'ers through the Georgia Boot Trailblazer program.

We look forward to working with new partners this year to continue to bring opportunity to all kids.

On the STEM side, one of the standout successes of 2023 was the Google Coding Camps, which were held in rural and underserved communities to link young people to technology, resources, and training. The participants expressed newfound enthusiasm for technology and a heightened interest in pursuing STEM-related fields, which is critical given that jobs in STEM fields are expected to grow twice as fast as non-STEM occupations in the coming years.

4-H is Looking Forward

Our research has shown that kids lack the essential skills they will need to thrive, like analytical thinking, resilience, and adaptability, which is why our 2024-2027 strategic plan will focus on nurturing the emotional well-being of youth while building a talent pipeline of young people who are ready to solve society's most significant challenges.

Thanks to the support of our partners, 2024 promises to be another successful year for our six million 4-H'ers, 3,500 educators, 500,000 volunteers, and 35 million alums! Like 2023, this year will be marked by innovative programs, impactful partnerships, and record-breaking achievements. From empowering youth with coding skills to spreading joy through artistic expression, from record-breaking fundraisers to monumental milestones in collaboration with our corporate partners, we can't wait to empower millions more leaders of tomorrow.

 

*No endorsement by 4-H is implied or intended.

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