Explore Your Interests in Science, Mentorship, Citizenship and More with 4-H

Now is the perfect time to explore your interests. We’re here to tell you about government programs designed to help you discover and learn about new topics while making a difference in the world. In case you missed our last blog post all about how to get involved in AmeriCorps, we’re developing a series of posts about exciting programs that not only allow you to have a bigger impact on a community and grow personally, but also boost your resume!

Today, we talk about 4-H.

What is 4-H?

4-H is a USDA program delivered by the Cooperative Extension Service, which is a community of outreach professionals at more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides young people with hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and citizenship. 4-H prepares and empowers young people to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. Being a part of 4-H means you can learn about topics that interest you. Through 4-H, you also have access to mentors who can help you be successful in school, your job, and life generally, by providing advice and guidance on these issues and anything else on your mind.

How do you participate?

There are different ways to participate in 4-H programs: in-school or after-school, or in clubs or camps. You are not required to wear a uniform and there are no national fees, though there may be other, minimal program fees dependent on the particular 4-H program. Your local 4-H office can help you find projects that fit within the budget, location, and time commitment that works for you and your family.

4‑H programs and clubs typically meet once per week or once per month, although some may choose to meet more or less frequently.

Who is it for and what are some examples of programs?

4-H is for all youth looking to learn personal and professional skills, and improve communities. Programs are available for youth ages 5-18. Here are just a few examples of what you could do in 4-H programs:

  • Use alternative energy to learn how to limit people’s impact on our environment.
  • Train to be a teacher and mentor for programs that promote healthy living among your peers.
  • Be a partner in decision-making to improve the quality of after-school programs in rural communities.
  • And more!

Still wondering what it means to be part of 4-H? Check out this youth in action: Thaddeus Hughes. Over the course of his work in 4-H, he helped introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and robotics to more than 6,000 youth across Illinois. Find out how other youth, like Thaddeus, exemplify the four pillars of 4-H – Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 

4-H programs are a great way to get involved, meet new people, and discover your passions, all while knowing you’re working to make positive change in your community and beyond. Regardless of where you live and what your interests are, you can find a 4-H program near you and explore what it has to offer. Use this tool to find and enroll in a 4-H program![i]

Looking for more? Be sure to also browse our Opportunities page to get connected to internships, conferences, programs, and other ways to get involved. Want weekly updates on opportunities like this? Follow us on Facebook to see young Change Makers doing great work, for opportunities, tools for success, and support!

[i] Pulled from 4-H: http://www.4-h.org/