Students who strive to improve their life skills to help them become more productive members of society can join the Hillsborough County 4-H Youth Development Program. The Florida Cooperative Extension Youth Development Program is part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
This program is intended for students aged 5 to 18. It promotes life skills, civic participation and educational activities. Hillsborough County 4-H hosts a club program that covers a wide range of topics, such as photography, breeding, gardening and dog education.
Brandi Yancy, 4-H Youth Development Officer in Hillsborough County, said what sets this program apart: “I grew up in the 4-H program and loved that it was of a family activity for me.
Hillsborough County 4-H also offers two after-school programs, including one in aeronautics, engineering and robotics. The second after-school program educates students about water resources, water conservation as well as steps to protect for future use. A 4-H club consists of a group of five or more students led by one or more adult volunteer leaders.
“We’re always looking for adult volunteers to join a club or become a project leader,” Yancy said.
The Extension Service was established in 1914 by Congress. It aims to provide a means of disseminating and implementing research-based information from granting universities. The University of Florida, located in Gainesville, is one of Florida’s land granting universities. 4-H is found in all counties in Florida as well as in all states and internationally.
Additionally, 4-H has partnered with Tufts University in Massachusetts for over 10 years to study the effectiveness of its youth development programs. The 4-H Positive Youth Development Study conducted by Tufts University found that 4-Hs are four times more likely to give back to their community, twice as likely to make healthier choices and much more .
For more information, visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/4-h-youth-development/. For upcoming events, visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/events/?location=hillsborough. If you are interested in joining or becoming a volunteer, contact 744-5519 ext. 54116 or ext. 54132.