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Benefits of 4-H

There are several benefits to participating in 4-H. While many are evident from the topics of the clubs, others are common to all 4-H clubs and programs.

Opportunities for Mastery

To develop self-confidence youth need to feel and believe they are capable and they must experience success at solving problems and meeting challenges. By exploring 4-H projects and activities, youth master skills to make positive career and life choices.

Additionally, youth need to have a safe environment for making mistakes and getting feedback, not just through competition but also as an ongoing element of participation.

Finally, youth need the breadth and depth of topics that allow them to pursue their own interests.

Opportunities for Generosity

Youth need to feel their lives have meaning and purpose. By participating in community service and citizenship activities, youth connect to communities and learn to give back. These experiences help youth understand the big picture of life and find purpose and meaning.

[more on 4-H and community service]

Opportunities for Belonging

Current research emphasizes the importance for youth to have opportunities for long-term consistent relationships with adults other than parents. This research suggests that a sense of belonging may be the single most powerful positive ingredient we can add into the lives of children and youth.

Youth need to know they are cared about by others and feel a sense of connection to others in the group. This fellowship has always been an important part of a 4-H experience. 4-H gives youth the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe while actively participating in a group.

Opportunities for Independence

To develop responsibility, youth need to know that they are able to influence people and events through decision-making and action. By exercising independence through 4-H leadership opportunities, youth mature in self-discipline and responsibility, learn to better understand themselves and become independent thinkers.