October 3, 2017

News Release

For Immediate Release

EDITOR'S NOTE: national 4-H week logoMembers of the media may contact Jeannette Rea-Keywood, Rutgers 4‑H Youth Development Program by phone at 609–827–0199 or by email at reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.

4-H Volunteers - Making a Difference for Life

In New Jersey, over 2,500 volunteers help deliver the 4‑H Youth Development Program to youth. The program gives volunteers the opportunity to serve based upon their interests, skills and time. This, coupled with the needs and interests of youth in the local community, makes the perfect match for fostering a positive relationship among youth and adults.

4‑H volunteers play a vital role in the on–going growth and development of the 4‑H Youth Development Program. They build a special relationship with youth, guiding project learning experiences and offering youth with opportunities to learn and serve their community.

Volunteers serve in a coaching and mentor role for youth, helping to build confidence among youth and foster positive youth development. Volunteers also help youth achieve their personal goals and motivate them to continue participating in and learning from the various opportunities provided through the 4‑H program. The relationships built among adult volunteers and youth also have lasting effects. As Retired General Colin Powell stated, "When adults take time to help young people through 4‑H, they exert an enormous, positive influence on the lives of youth." From 4‑H experiences led by volunteers, youth gain important leadership, citizenship and life skills that can be applied to daily living, used in their community, in future jobs or when they continue their education. Although it may be years before a youth realizes and truly appreciates the influence of the 4‑H volunteers that served as positive adult role models, one can be certain that volunteers are truly making a difference for life.

4‑H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. The New Jersey 4‑H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station offers educational programs to all youth in grades K–13, on an age–appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law. 4‑H programs empower six million young people across the United States through experiences that develop critical life skills. Nearly 40,000 New Jersey youth in grades K–13 (one year out of high school) participate in 4‑H programming annually through delivery modes including 4‑H clubs, after–school programs, school enrichment programs, special interest programs and camps.

There continues to be a need for more volunteers to lead 4‑H clubs for the youth in each county. Being a 4‑H volunteer does not take a lot of time and it is very rewarding. For information about how you can become involved in the New Jersey 4‑H Program as a 4‑H volunteer call the 4‑H Office in the county in which your reside or visit the New Jersey 4‑H website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/

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Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an qual opportunity program provider and employer.

Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station