National 4-H Council inspires young people with the ideas they need to become leaders and positive disruptors in their communities. Through national events such as the national youth summit, Ignite by 4-H , which ignites within each young person the desire to do more.
Each year youth participants, with adult mentors, are given the opportunity to develop, present and implement a 4-H Lead to Change project (LTC). LTC is an enriching continuation of Ignite by 4-H Summit that sparks their interest and drives the desire to do more within every 4-H'er. The process challenges young people to step up and act on a specific issue facing their community.
Youth become catalysts for positive change as they practice and apply real world skills needed for career success and to better their communities. The teams then participate in live evaluations with industry leaders to gain valuable experience and exposure.
Teams are awarded $2,000 to fund and help implement their project in their community. A select number of them can later apply to receive a second round of funding of $5000 based on their ability to scale their impact and work. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, this second round recognizes and allows the 4-Hers to further grow as leaders, cultivating the skills they need to make the best better.
"Before, I would never attempt to understand what is happening around me. Now I’m always seeking opportunities to learn more about what is environmental taking place in my area… Louisiana is my home and I want to see the entire state thrive. It starts with us the next generation of leaders. Every chance I get I try to bring awareness to my friends and peers that they should seek a better understanding of what is taking place around us,” the 2022 Louisiana Coastal Restoration team.
It is thanks to the sponsors of the 2023 Ignite by 4-H Summit that we can go beyond a single event to help youth deeply impact their communities.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Here are a few 4-H at Home activities to show your community the true meaning of the four H's. Don't forget to tune in to our rockin' playlist below as you work on these activities.
Think outside the box with a digital vision board. Embrace your creative freedom, close your eyes, and think about your future. What do you imagine? Visualizing and planning goals are two keyways to make your dreams a reality.
It's not always easy to describe how you're feeling. But, expressing your emotions is crucial to taking care of yourself. Create a chart to uncover and share how you're feeling with others.
It can be hard to know what to believe, who to trust, and what you should do - especially when it comes to making healthy choices about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. In this series of interactive activities, you'll learn some critical-thinking and decision-making skills to help you stay true to yourself, and make the best decisions for yourself and your future.
Have you ever wondered how satellites in space help us communicate across vast distances? Take a peek inside the ways satellites deliver internet access to millions of people around the world in this interactive activity.
As we reflect on 2022 - join us as we celebrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with a recap of a few of our This is 4-H moments from this year.
Some of our most memorable moments: the heartwarming, courageous, inspiring, and more.
You belong here. We are here to cheer you on, lift you up, and be the fuel to your spark. Follow along as we continue This is 4-H in 2023 with even more impactful stories.
During Native American Heritage month, and all year long, 4-H celebrates the resilience of Native American youth, their unique heritage and the intricately woven fabric of their culture. Connecting families to impactful opportunities through tradition and history, 4-H supports the effort to restore, revive and strengthen the fibers of indigenous cultures across the country. #Thisis4H
A proud member and confident representative of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Tashina Red Hawk, the 2022 Youth in Action Agriculture winner sponsored by Bayer, embodies the grace and knowledge of those who have raised, guided and helped her become the nurturing and centered person she is. Respecting all of Creation and believing that we are created equally, Tashina believes animals are sacred and have an innate ability to help and heal a person during a time of need. Able to live and learn on the land of her ancestors, Tashina applies the ethics, determination and morals she's gained from 4-H to her volunteer work at her community's animal clinic, where she's found her passion for vet science. 4-H has not only given her tools for her future, but a voice to share her sacred heritage and the resolve to give back to her deserving community. Read more.
Window Rock, AZ, the capital of the Navajo Nation- a region filled with unparalleled beauty and people who have long called that area home. Follow along as we travel to the Navajo Nation Fair and learn more about how the Navajo Nation 4-H Program plays a role in the daily lives of the Navajo people.
Dylan is a 4-H'er who loves the sense of community the program provides, and the lessons it has taught her about independence and responsibility.
Rochelle is a 4-H Leader and Mom who sees 4-H as a tool to teach kids the life skills they need going into adulthood, as well as an opportunity to invest in their own future from the profits they make by auctioning off their projects.
Roxanne Lee is a 4-H leader and Mom. As a 4-H alum herself, she views the program as an extension of her own community, and central to teaching kids the resiliency and independence needed to move into adulthood.
Encouraging girls to lead, amplifying their voices and celebrating girl changemakers everywhere-this is International Day of the Girl.
Our 2023 Youth in Action Award pillar winners are crushing boundaries, pushing limits, and redefining girl power with determination, curiosity, intelligence, and grit.
Girls like Sruthi Sudarsan (Civic Engagement), who struggled with social anxiety but found her voice through 4-H. She now runs Bay Area's Project CARE (providing essential support and supplies for homeless and low-income individuals) to address preventable medical conditions through basic hygiene, first aid, and medical education. Norah Carter (Healthy Living) focuses on mental health issues and leads workshops on anxiety reduction, trigger identification, and stress management to empower previously incarcerated youth, urban kids, and suburban tweens. LGBTQ youth Nicole Cash (STEM) used her robotics and leadership skills to build an affordable mobility device for a family whose son has mobility issues. She is now helping other 4-H robotics teams do the same. Get to know these amazing 2023 Youth in Action Award winners.
Their success stories dedication, conviction, and focus are inspiring - impacting others in countless ways. Learn more about 4-H'ers creating change and making an impact in their community.
Shoot for the stars. Aim for the moon! Tashina, the 2022 Youth in Action Agriculture winner sponsored by Bayer, has gone above and beyond to impact her community positively.. As a South Dakota 4-H'er and member of the Lakota tribe, she works with local providers to offer free veterinary services to low-income families living on her reservation.
What is a genuinely inclusive culture? Our 2022 Youth in Action Civic Engagement winner, Bri, strives to bridge the gap toward racial reconciliation in her majority-white community. Bri joined New York State 4-H to amplify her efforts and expand her positive reach.
This 4-H'er knows what it takes to make dreams a reality. 4-H Youth in Action Healthy Living pillar winner, Kristin, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 5. Navigating the challenges of the disease, Kristin works to create inclusive spaces for those with medically necessary diets. 4-H was the first place she didn't feel like an outsider because of her dietary needs.
Just about everyone loves delicious baked goods, but some people are allergic to the standard gluten-based flour used in most recipes. These simple alternatives from Kristin Osika, the 2021 4-H Youth-in-Action Winner, leave out the gluten but pack the scrumptious taste. Plus, they're easy and fun for kids-or anyone else-to make.
We're proud of the cultural diversity throughout 4-H and are made better because of it. Join us as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and embrace the diversity of multiple origins, cultures, and traditions. UNIDOS, we grow together! #Thisis4H
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated on September 15-October 15. During this time (and beyond), we highlight the programs and partners that significantly impact Latino youth, families, and communities. One program, in particular, is Juntos 4-H.
A 4-H member since moving from Puerto Rico at age 10, Cassey loves working with people and discovering common interests. Equally proud of her 4-H community and Puerto Rican heritage, her enthusiasm is contagious and drives her love of volunteering and helping people.
With wind-swept vistas, grassy hills and wide-open spaces, Matias holds a lifetime of memories of visiting his Abuela on their family farm in the Patagonia region of Argentina. Having travelled there since he was a baby, Matias cherishes his heritage and enjoys exploring the vast countryside via horseback.
Growing up abroad and with language difficulties, life wasn't easy for Matias. Feeling like an outsider, he struggled to fit in. Not until he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder did he understand the source of his anxieties. After joining 4-H and winning a science fair ribbon, a spark ignited in him. Opening his eyes to a new world, 4-H provided a place where Matias not only felt welcome but was able to pursue his passion for science.
As an Illinois 4-H'er and an Agriculture Pillar winner, sponsored by Bayer, Matias has developed and cherishes friendships in 4-H with people from different heritages. He feels they connect through common ideas and projects-helping each other learn and succeed. Grateful for his inclusive experience, Matias believes 4-H is truly his shared community.
Have you ever wondered about the journey that your dollar takes when you give to National 4-H Council? For instance: how does a dollar donated at the national level impact the 4-H club in your hometown? Or, in what ways does your gift shape the 4-H experience for millions of young people?
First, let's start with what Council does so you can be confident about where your support goes.
National 4-H Council supports 4-H at all levels. If you've participated in a 4-H program, you know they're one-of-a-kind. We work with our land-grant university partners across the country to give young people opportunities they can't find anywhere else: opportunities for kids to discover their spark, form lasting relationships, and participate fully in the world around them. When you make a gift to Council, you're building 4-H's capacity nationwide and ensuring we can continue to grow to serve more kids.
Here are just a few ways your generosity to National 4-H Council makes a difference. We support positive youth development programming that:
Young people are introduced to caring mentors and friends at a time when it matters most.
"We have a little girl in the 4-H Youth & Families with Promise Club who told her mentor that she doesn't have any friends. The mentor told the 4-H staff member about what the little girl had said, so the coordinator introduced her to some girls in the club and told them to play a get-to-know-you game. The next day, the little girl's mom called the coordinator to report how excited her daughter was that she made new friends at 4-H. Since starting the program, her mother shared that she is much happier and more confident."
- A 4-H Volunteer
Kids learn life skills by overcoming personal challenges, discovering their passions and building their confidence.
"Because I have ADHD and high-functioning autism, I went to speech therapy to learn how to articulate what I wanted to say instead of rambling. 4-H was how I actually got to practice getting up in front of a group of people. I would not have done that before 4-H. It forced me to open myself up to those types of experiences and I learned that it wasn't as scary as I may have thought (and I actually was decent at it)!"
- A 4-H Youth
Our national positive youth development events - the Summit series and Citizenship Washington Focus - bring together young people from across the country to focus on areas of growth that will benefit them, their communities, our country, and our world.
"I received a phone call from a mother who was almost in tears. Her daughter had been struggling with bullying and a lack of interest in projects she used to enjoy. But after she attended the National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science, her mother noticed a significant change. It was the first thing she had been really excited about in some time. She told us that her daughter passionately talks about the experience everywhere she goes and was even invited to visit an agritourism farm to share her knowledge with 150 elementary school youth - teaching them the importance of pollinators and their habitats. She thanked us for such a positive experience and for helping her daughter get back on a positive life track. She can't wait to see all the great things that will come from being an ambassador, and her daughter is now considering a career in teaching as she is enjoying it so much."
- A 4-H Agent
We make our programs scalable so that 4-H'ers can make a real difference in their communities while addressing larger national issues. For example, here's how our 4-H Tech Changemakers program, which gives teens the resources to bridge the digital divide, created a brighter future for a struggling mom in Mississippi:
"I am a mother of three boys, and we entered a domestic abuse center in July 2021. I know that I must find work to be able to provide for myself and my boys. The center is working with the 4-H Tech Changemakers Program and encouraged me to take part in it. At first, I said 'no' because I didn't think a teenager could teach me anything. But that all changed after the first session. They were great - so very helpful and so kind. The team is helping me develop the skills I need to research and apply for jobs."
- A Community Member
We meet urgent needs across the 4-H network. For example, National 4-H Council created an emergency assistance fund at the onset of the pandemic so that our Cooperative Extension System partners could ask for help where they needed it most. Nearly $300,000 was awarded through 24 grants - reaching 17,395 young people with virtual camps, activity kits, gardening workshops, and more.
"We all learned so much [through virtual camp] and didn't want it to end! I loved the mix of live events, activities at home, and support videos. You guys proved COVID won't ruin camp plans. My daughter is medically fragile…and she was THRILLED to be able to join in on all the fun without COVID concerns."
- A 4-H Parent
That's just a glimpse of your giving at work. Stories like these happen every day within the 4-H family because of incredible young people and the dedicated educators who inspire them, the caring mentors who encourage them, and the generous donors (like you!) who support them.
Just like the youth we serve, your gift to National 4-H Council is limitless in how it can impact the world.
4-H empowers youth with the skills they need to become leaders and positive disruptors in their communities. Through events such as the National 4-H Youth Summit on Agriscience, we ignite within every 4-H'er the desire and drive to do more. This year, 19 delegations made up of youth participants that attended the Summit, in partnership with adult mentors, were provided the opportunity to develop, present and implement a 4-H Lead to Change (LTC) Project.
These LTC projects challenge young people to step up and take action on issues that will influence others, ultimately contributing to healthier communities. States and delegations participating in the Summit were given the opportunity to apply for a grant, with 12 LTC project teams being selected to receive $2,000 each for their projects.
Dedicated support will be provided to the LTC projects throughout the next phase - Scale for Success. Of the 12 original projects, two will be selected in November 2022 to receive a second round of funding of $5,000 to scale and further their impact and reach. This Scale for Success phase will allow the 4-H'ers involved to grow as community leaders, as they cultivate the necessary skills and experiences to create real change where they are.
The deep impact of the 2022 National 4-H Youth Summit on Agriscience would not be possible without our partners: Nationwide, Corteva, Nutrien, Saputo, ADM and Bayer. Their support and sponsorship of the Lead to Change projects continue to inspire communities across the country.
A worldwide organization unlike any other, 4-H is unique. Over 6 million teens and youth of every imaginable background make 4-H what it is, each one of them with their own story. WIWPK is a place to capture their experiences, their challenges, their vision, their success.
A 4-H advocate for teen mental health, Mayyadah believes that small actions make a big difference. Seeing and hearing people, showing respect and giving validation play a big part in a person's mental health journey and having a support system of peers and family in place is key when challenges and hurdles do arise.
Learn more about Mayyadah and her reflections on inclusion and teen mental health in the video below.
I walked through a dirt road riddled with potholes. To my left, I saw a deserted primary school with a collapsed foundation. To my right, I gazed upon a medical clinic that is almost always empty and void of a doctor. I look at homes on the street, many of which are small amid a periodic power outage. I thought back to life in the United States. It astonished me that the difference in the quality of life between two parts of the world is so stark. Initially, a sense of helplessness took over me - how could a young person like me fix such wide-ranging issues? I thought of a quote by Steve Jobs: "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, and you can build your own things that other people can use."
While I was only in eighth grade when I visited NP Kunta, the rural Indian village that my dad grew up in, I had been "building my own things" for years. With my local 4-H robotics team, I had been challenged to think creatively and work resourcefully with my teammates to solve seemingly impossible problems, from debugging code to programming a vision processing system for our robot. Because I had solved big problems in the past, I was confident that I could, in fact, change the world issues I had witnessed. For this reason, in 2018 I founded Universal Help Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people around the world in innovative ways. I lead the charity in tackling issues ranging from opportunity inequality to climate change, among other initiatives. One of our most significant accomplishments has been building a fully equipped 30-bed isolation center for COVID patients in Hyderabad.
In May of 2021, both my grandparents got sick with the COVID-19 Delta variant. Living on the other side of the world, there was little I could do. As their conditions worsened and my grandma needed hospitalization, the true scale of the national shortage for healthcare became evident. After hours of calling family, friends and extended relatives, we successfully secured a hospital bed for my grandma. Others in India weren't as fortunate, as hospitals denied people ICU beds, COVID-19 treatments and oxygen due to high demand and short supply. Not only that but with the high population density that Indian cities have, many patients were forced to quarantine near their families, risking the health of their loved ones. When I realized this issue, I got to work. I obtained support from the local government to partially fund an isolation center and organized onsite nurses, doctors and medical supplies for the center. Beds were always full with patients needing ventilators and extra medical care. I have no doubt Universal Help's efforts have had far-reaching impacts on the city and its residents.
Today, I look back at this project and think about how it all started - from my insistence to improve living conditions in my father's village to my disbelief at the lack of medical care in India during the Delta surge. If I had believed my doubts, this life-changing project would not have happened. However, with the confidence and problem-solving skills I gained through my 4-H robotics club, I was able to find the courage to change, influence and build things which transformed lives.