4‑H civic engagement programs help kids learn about civic affairs, build decision-making skills and connect to others.
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Being Good Citizens

4‑H civic engagement programs empower young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities and the world. Youth learn about civic affairs, build decision-making skills and develop a sense of understanding and confidence in relating and connecting to other people.

Program areas

Leadership & personal development

4‑H is an innovator in developing youth leadership and decision-making skills to prepare young people for the future. Our civic engagement programs engage youth in programs, organizations, and communities where they share a voice, influence, and decision-making authority. 4‑H civic engagement programs equip young people with confidence and leadership skills to be leaders today and tomorrow.


Community action

4‑H members contribute hundreds of thousands of hours back to their community every year. Service is a hallmark of all 4‑H programs, teaching youth about the importance of giving back, improving our communities and developing innovative solutions to solve problems, large or small. 4‑H’ers learn skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, community engagement and build a sense of compassion, confidence and pride.

Communication & expressive arts

From filmmaking to photography, our communication arts programs and curricula emphasize artistic expression and communication. 4‑H’s visual arts programs include both print and digital media so youth have the opportunity to use the latest technology. Our theater programs teach communication skills, creative thinking, improvisation and writing.


Featured civic engagement programs

Rural youth development

Through the USDA Rural Youth Development (RYD) Grant Program, National 4-H Council collaborates with more than 100 public universities to provide programs tailored to the needs of rural youth. The RYD program goals include empowering rural communities to involve youth as partners in decision-making and governance, improve the quality of after-school programs in rural communities and provide professional staff and volunteer development.


Juntos 4‑H

Juntos 4‑H supports Latino students and their families bridge the gap between high school and higher education and teach financial literacy skills. Juntos 4‑H provides knowledge, skills and resources to prevent youth from dropping out and to encourage families to work together to gain access to college.

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Citizenship Washington Focus

For more than 50 years, thousands of high school youth from all across the country have traveled to Washington, DC each summer to partake in the preeminent 4-H civic engagement and leadership experience— Citizenship Washington Focus.


Farm credit

Farm Credit understands the importance of youth and building their skills to become the informed consumers and leaders Farm Credit needs. National 4‑H Council and Farm Credit are working to help hundreds of 4‑H members associated with historically black and Native American colleges and universities engage in life-changing leadership conferences and experiences. Farm Credit funding is made possible by the more than 1,000 directors and employees of Farm Credit banks and institutions across America.