I am pleased to share this official statement on behalf of National 4-H Council.
As partner to Cooperative Extension's 4-H program, we are pleased to share the news of a transformational, $50 million gift to National 4-H Council from writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Because of 4-H's expansive reach into every US county, parish, and territory, this investment will support positive youth development for millions of kids and families. Amid the serious challenges affecting our youth-from a national mental health crisis to widening opportunity gaps-the skills, confidence, and resilience young people develop through 4-H programs are essential.
"This extraordinary gift is a rare and special occurrence," shares Krysta Harden, National 4-H Council Board Chair and President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. "With such a significant gift comes great responsibility. We will engage our stakeholders to ensure these resources lift the diverse voices of young people and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for this generation, and many future generations to come."
This gift builds upon the dedicated efforts of thousands of local Cooperative Extension 4-H educators, more than 500,000 volunteers, and millions of 4-H youth, alumni, and donors. It leverages decades of public investment from counties, states, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at USDA. And it will sustain 4-H's commitment to ensuring all young people-regardless of their background or beliefs-are empowered with the skills to lead for a lifetime. "Together, we have built a life-changing movement that serves six million youth each year," observes Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council. "Fueled by this historic investment, we will make even greater progress toward our shared vision: providing all young people with access to opportunity."
We extend profound gratitude to MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett-not only for the largest single gift in 4-H's 120-year history-but also for their belief in the strengths and influence of young people to improve the world around us.