Research in 2013 (Child Trends) and 2015 (The Science of Resilience) concluded that children supported by at least one caring adult are more likely to have positive development and become productive adults. In summarizing the findings of their research, Murphey et al. (2015) writes:
Compared with peers identical on all background characteristics but lacking a caring adult, children with a caring adult were:
*73% more likely to volunteer
*12% more likely to get frequent exercise
*11% more likely to stay calm and controlled
*10% more likely to show interest in learning/after-school activities
*28% less likely to feel sad or depressed and
*21% less likely to have bullied in the past month.
Those are significant differences when the only varied factor is a caring adult.
According to Josh Shipp, once an at-risk foster kid failure, “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story” (Shipp, 2023). He should know because many gave up on him. Luckily, at 14, he found his connection and is successful and thriving as a result. It only takes one to make a difference. Are you making a difference?
Being a 4-H volunteer, you can become one of these caring adults. You will have the opportunity to listen to, encourage, and pay attention to youth and make a difference in their positive youth development. Using their own skills and knowledge, a 4-H volunteer can mentor and teach youth about a specific project area, proving opportunities for them to have hands-on learning experiences, real-life encounters, and many Ah-Ha moments.
We are always looking to add new clubs and projects to our offerings. We can make your career, your hobby, or your interests into a connection to a youth. Or you can use your own sense of adventure to help youth explore their own interests and passions. Who knows what you will discover together.
Curious? Contact 4-H Agent Dr. Nancy Moores at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can get started on helping youth to thrive and succeed.
- Murphey, D., Bandy, T., Schmitz, H., & Moores, K. A. (2013, December). Caring adults: Important for positive child well-being. Child Trends. 2013-54CaringAdults.pdf (childtrends.org)
- Shipp, J. (2023). Josh Shipp. Josh Shipp: The Life-Changing Power of One Caring Adult (topyouthspeakers.com)
- Walsh, B. (2015, March 23). The Science of Resilience. Usable Knowledge. The Science of Resilience | Harvard Graduate School of Education