U of I Extension 4-H Youth Development is a flagship program administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 4-H is provided in every county in Illinois and the program:
- Provides positive youth development experiences that foster belonging, independence, generosity, and mastery.
- Creates opportunities for youth to use their skills to influence and impact others
- Equips youth with skills and experiences for success.
- Offers targeted youth education programs to address Illinois issues.
Nearly 200,000 youth affiliations were formed through Illinois 4-H programs and clubs in 2018, and more than 24,400 young people belong to Illinois 4-H clubs of sustained learning experiences. In our tri-county area in 2018, 4-H programs had 14,087 participants. U of I 4-H Youth Development programs are offered in big cities, small towns, and rural communities, as well as on U.S. military installations. 4-H’ers can explore hundreds of projects in areas of animal science, career & leadership development, creative arts, environmental sciences, global civic engagement, healthy living & nutrition, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
A popular program in our area is the 4-H Teen Science Ambassador program. Entering its seventh year, the program encourages sixth- to twelfth-grade youth to be leaders and share their passion for STEM. From computer coding to environmental science, 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors learn and share hands-on STEM lessons through 4-H. To do this, they receive focused training and then volunteer to teach others at supervised, organized community activities. The ambassadors develop important life skills, such as public speaking, leadership, communication, and teamwork.
Donna Nuger, 4-H Youth Development Educator
Xen Briggs, 4-H Teen Science Ambassador