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AARP FOUNDATION DONATES $400,000 TO NAT'L 4-H COUNCIL PROGRAM
Source: National 4-H Council news release

National 4-H Council has announced a new partnership with Mentor Up, a new way to make a difference from AARP Foundation, to promote and establish youth-led service and volunteerism on behalf of people age 50 and older. A generous grant of more than $400,000 from AARP Foundation will support the expansion of the 4-H Tech Wizards program.

The 4-H Tech Wizards program provides the opportunity for young people to help Americans 50 and over secure the skills they need to find jobs in America's data-driven economy.

4-H Tech Wizards was originally launched by a group of 4-H teens in Washington County, Oregon who saw a need in their community and stepped up to solve it by leveraging their technology skills to empower adults. The partnership will allow the program to expand into three new states-Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

"At 4-H, the mentoring relationships between youth and adults are a critically important factor in the success of our programs and young people worldwide," said Jennifer Sirangelo, National 4-H Council President & CEO. "We are thrilled to partner with Mentor Up to offer an innovative program that positions young people as mentors to adults-empowering more adults to be able to incorporate today's leading-edge skills into their lives."

The Tech Wizards program expansion is part of Mentor Up because it enables young people to volunteer their time to apply their skills to design and implement a course to help adults 50+ in their community better understand how to utilize technology in a practical setting. Traditional communication skills taught through 4-H, such as goal setting, problem solving, presentation and public speaking, will be used by the teens to help them develop a technology training program for seniors.

The young people will teach how to use the latest tech devices and computer software, social media engagement, and the importance of understanding digital security. The program will enable adults 50+ to become more tech savvy, see all the resources available with new technology and stay connected to family and friends.

The two-year program will reach more than 300 youth and close to 500 adults 50 and older. Following the program, youth and seniors will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the program and the mentoring relationships.

"4-H members are passionate about community service and Americans over 50 are in need of assistance," said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation.

"Our partnership with 4-H enables us to tap their collective enthusiasm to provide older Americans with vital technology training that ensures they learn new skills to combat the issue of social isolation. Best of all, this is just a starting point-we look forward to working with 4-H to track the success of Tech Wizards so that we can further expand to more states across the U.S."


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