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NEW STUDY SHOWS 4-H'ERS MORE LIKELY TO CONTRIBUTE THAN PEERS
Source: National 4-H Council

Recent findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H.

Additionally, the research from the Tufts University study indicated that youth in 4-H thrive through the health and science education and career preparation experiences they receive through 4-H programming. Compared to non-4-H youth, 4-H'ers are more likely to spend more hours exercising or being physically active. 4-H youth also have higher educational achievement and higher motivation for future education - reporting better grades, higher levels of academic competence, and an elevated level of engagement at school.

Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities.

"The findings presented in the Tufts study are evidence that the young people who are involved in 4-H are better equipped to lead more productive and altruistic lives," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. "Although 4-H has been the largest youth development program in the nation for more than 100 years, many people are unaware of the incredible and uncommon commitment of 4-H'ers to break through obstacles, tackle big problems and make measurable contributions where they live."

In fact, 4-H'ers all across the nation are empowered to take on the leading issues of their towns, counties and states and make a lasting difference.

After tornadoes tore through her small town in Kentucky, 4-H'er Meg Copass decided to help her town prepare for emergencies by raising funds to purchase an early warning emergency system. With concerts, silent auctions, game tournaments, and food sales, Meg singlehandedly raised $11,873 - 80 percent of the total cost of the early warning emergency response system. Meg's commitment to her community is saving lives. Now, the warning can be heard up to eight miles away and can be triggered by 911 emergency call centers 30 miles away.

Jose Cazares and his 4-H group, the 4-H Tech Wizards, bridged the digital divide in their Oregon town by training youth and adult members of the community to become more tech savvy. Tutorials included teaching people how to e-mail, create a website, and effectively search on the internet for jobs and resources. The 4-H Tech Wizards are helping people in their community find jobs and learn the skills they need to be more marketable in today's high-tech workplaces.

In North Carolina, 4-H'er Vivian McCarter didn't just make it easier to find healthier food, she made it easier to live a healthier life. Using GPS technology, Vivian and her 4-H group mapped out the food choices at grocery and convenience stores in their county and discovered the food desserts in those communities. The 4-Hers took their work a step farther by persuading local store owners to add healthier food choices-an inspiring act and a victory in the fight against obesity.

Stories like these are taking place all across the nation due to the activism and ingenuity of 4-H youth through Join the Revolution of Responsibility, a multi-faceted brand campaign launched by National 4-H Council. The campaign tells today's 4-H story through the amazing achievements of its young people. Click herefor more information about 4-H and Join the Revolution of Responsibility.

About the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development:

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study which began in 2001, through the support of National 4-H Council. Youth development scholar, Dr. Richard Lerner, works with researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University to conduct the study. Youth are measured in "waves" across time which compared those that participate in 4-H to those that do not. The study is currently in wave seven. The 6,885 adolescents surveyed are racially and geographically diverse representing 45 states across the nation.

About 4-H:

4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA.

4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their local Extension offices. 4-H programs are further supported by 514,000 dedicated adult volunteers around the nation who help to put 4-H youth on a path towards successful careers. Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org.


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