4-H Grows Compassion
With 4-H’s long history of community service and service learning built into the structure of the club model, 4-H members are poised to develop skills that make them highly valued students and eventually adults. And while grades and ACT or SAT scores used to be standard criteria for college admission, colleges and universities are looking for a well-rounded student in the highly competitive field of freshman admission.
By engaging in community service work, youth have the ability to explore their interests and find where their passions lie, show others what they believe in and define possible career paths. Community service also gives youth the ability to learn experientially and see that their contribution to a cause, project or event can make a difference.
Teenlife.com defines just a few of the personal benefits of youth volunteering as:
- Developing an increased sense of social responsibility
- Developing a global view of society
- Developing a heart for giving back and helping others
- Providing opportunities to apply what they’ve learned to real human needs
- Building relations and social connectedness with peers and adults
- Improving communication and critical thinking skills
- Helping find passions and interests that may leader to future career options.
In addition to the 4-H Community Service Project, 4-H helps fund projects through the Community Pride Program. This program helps members learn about their community and encourages them to improve their environment through completion of a service learning project. Grant funds awarded through the Florida 4-H Foundation help supplement the project. Once the project is complete, a final report is submitted for statewide competition and recognition at 4-H University as a Top 5 Florida 4-H Community Pride Project. Florida 4-H also offers similar opportunities through the Marine Ecology Program which awards mini funds to 4-H clubs to execute Service Learning in Aquatic and Marine Education and Conservation through a gift from the Guy Harvey Foundation. Community service has the ability to become life changing – for the youth involved and for those who are receiving their service.
If you would like to help 4-H grow the next generation of compassionate adults who are civically engaged, then become a volunteer. 4-H offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities based on your skills, interests and schedule. For more information, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.
Tomorrow, learn how 4-H Grows Curiosity!