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UME Volunteer Policy. Part IV The Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program. University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or national origin.
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UME Volunteer Policy Part IV The Maryland 4-H Youth Development Program University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, or national origin.
Maryland 4-H Mission • Help all youth reach their full potential • Teach useful life skills • Community focused, research based • Create competent, caring and responsible individuals
Maryland 4-H Vision • Recognized leader in youth development • Address present and emerging issues • Employ proactive approaches • Experiential and age-appropriate curriculum • Collaboration and networking • Diverse Audiences, programs and methods
Maryland 4-H Teaches Life Skills • Decision Making • Acquiring Knowledge • Personal Responsibility • Creative Thinking • Communicating • Understanding Self • Getting Along With Others
Taking the University to Youth in Communities • 4-H Youth Development is the only youth program with direct access to technological advances in agriculture and life sciences, home economics, human development, and related areas, which result from land-grant university research. • The foundation of 4-H Youth Development is in the practical application of the land-grant university knowledge by youth in their communities.
Focus on Community • Society loses out when youth fall through the cracks in institutions that could prepare them for a productive future. Community counts – for better or worse – in response to these institutional gaps and unmet needs for support, care and opportunities for healthy development of our young people. Milbrey McLaughlin, Stanford University, Community Counts
Social Forces have changed Community Life • Informal community support for young people has weakened….. • High rates of family mobility • Greater anonymity in neighborhoods • Extensive media exposure to themes of violence and heavy use of drugs & alcohol • Deterioration and disorganization of neighborhoods and schools
Youth Development: A Paradigm Shift Addressing youth problems is critical… But, problem free is not fully prepared Positive Development Primary Prevention High Risk Treatment
What is Youth Development? • Youth Development is the acquisition of attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry youth forward into successful adulthood. - National Research Council
Essential Elements of a Youth Development Approach • The Youth Development Approach considers the whole young person, not just a single characteristic or problem. • Youth Development is dependent on family and community development as it occurs in the context of the family, community and society. • Youth Development is designed to focus on the positive outcomes we desire for young people, not the negative outcomes we hope to prevent.
What is the Essence of 4-H Youth Development? • To engage young people in the work of the Land-Grant University and USDA • To teach knowledge and life skills which enhance quality of life • To create opportunities which promote positive youth development
Features of Positive Youth Development • Physical and psychological safety • Appropriate structure • Supportive relationships • Opportunities to belong • Positive social norms • Support for efficacy and mattering • Opportunities for skill building • Integration of family, school, and community efforts
Assets that Facilitate Positive Youth Development • Physical Development • Good health habits • Good health risk management skills • Intellectual Development • Knowledge of essential life skills • Knowledge of essential vocational skills • School success • Good decision-making skills • And more • Psychological & EmotionalDevelopment • Good mental health • Good coping skills • Good conflict resolution skills • Strong moral character • And more • Social Development • Connectedness • Sense of social place / integration • Attachment to prosocial institutions • Ability to navigate in multiple cultural contexts • Commitment to civic engagement
The 8 Essential Elements of Youth Development • A positive relationship with a caring adult • A safe environment • An inclusive environment • Engagement in learning • Opportunity for Mastery • Opportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the future • Opportunity for self-determination • Opportunity to value and practice service for others
4-H Youth Development Creates Opportunities for Youth to Experience: • Independence • Belonging • Generosity • Mastery
If Youth Needs are met in Positive Ways: Youth develop characteristics most of us relate to character…
Characteristics of Volunteers serving as Youth Development Practitioners • made it clear they saw the potential in the young people they encountered; • made the young person, not the activity, their priority; • conveyed a sense of power and purpose for themselves and for the young people around them; • were described as authentic—real, not phony, with a genuine interest and concern for young people; McLaughlin, Irby, & Langman (1994)
Questions? This presentation was originally created Dr. Lisa Dennis, 4-H Youth and Adult Leadership Specialist, and revised by Amy Rhodes, Sharon Pahlman, and David Gordon 2010.