Tag Archive: Volunteers

4-H Provides Opportunities for Military Volunteers

Through 4-H, Victoria is able to share her skills and passions to help young people grow workforce and life skills.

Victoria Ballard came to Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2011 from Texas.  Her family has been involved in 4-H since her oldest daughter turned eight.  As a military spouse, Victoria has seen 4-H in two states.  Prudence Caskey, the Santa Rosa County 4-H Extension Agent, has worked closely with Victoria and the two clubs that she leads. These clubs have completed projects on Marine Science, Wildlife, Horseless Horse, Robotics, and Veterinary Science; in addition to supporting a wide variety of individual projects such as poultry, photography, leadership, community service, and many more.  To say that Victoria is vital to the success of the 4-H clubs that she leads would be an understatement. But the true success of the clubs comes from the dedication of the youth leaders that volunteer to serve as club officers and run the meetings and present program. The youth, ages 8-17, work together to decide their projects and activities, and learn what it takes to run an official meeting and be a leader in the community.

Victoria worked diligently to establish a summer horse day camp program.  Creating the schedule, designing activities and obtaining volunteers was all part of the process, and she handled every aspect of the program.  “When you find a volunteer’s passion, then you can just let them take the reins, so to speak”, says Prudence Caskey, 4-H Extension Agent.  “She has a passion for horses and youth and so it was such a natural fit!”

When asked what she enjoys most about being a 4-H volunteer, Victoria says, “I really enjoy teaching kids about technology and animals that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to those topics.”  Prudence Caskey said, “We would not have been able to implement nor offer several programs if not for the tenacity and dedication of Victoria.”

Do you have knowledge and skills that you would like to share with young people?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  4-H is in every county, in every state, and several countries, so it a perfect opportunity for military families especially.  4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit any schedule.  To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

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Author: Prudence Caskey – prudencecaskey@ufl.edu

Prudence Caskey

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/26/4-h-provides-opportunities-for-military-volunteers/

The Florida Master Naturalist Program Training Local AmeriCorps Volunteers

The Florida Master Naturalist Program Training Local AmeriCorps Volunteers

By: Laura Tiu and Sheila Dunning

 

For the second year in a row, University of Florida Extension Agents Sheila Dunning (horticulture) and Laura Tiu (marine science) taught a Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Coastal Module to a newly recruited AmeriCorps group in Okaloosa and Walton counties. The AmeriCorps members have been recruited to work with local the non-profit Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance during the 2016-17 school year teaching Grasses in Classes and Dunes and Schools at the local elementary schools.

AmeriCorp volunteers learning about coastal environments by attending the Florida Master Naturalist class.
Photo: Laura Tiu

As part of the training, FMNP students participated in an aquatic species collection training to enable them to collect species for touch tanks used throughout the school year. At the training, we met two Fort Walton Beach High School science teachers. Teachers Marcia Holman and Ashley Daniels (an AmeriCorps 2013 member herself) were surprised to see two former students in our AmeriCorps 2016 FMNP class; Dylan and Kaitlyn.  Dylan, they reported, was a student that many teachers worried about during his freshman year.  However, he just blossomed because of his involvement in the marine classes and environmental ecology club.  They were most proud of his leadership designing and implementing a no-balloon graduation ceremony.  This prevented the release of potentially harmful balloons into our coastal waterways where they pose a hazard to marine life.

 

The teachers were so happy to see both students had joined AmeriCorps and were receiving FMNP training. They realized that they were making a difference in the lives of their students and the students they had trained were working to preserve and protect the environment in their communities.  When asked if they had any other students that we need to be prepared for Holman replied, “It’s hard to tell at this point in the year if we have any rising marine science stars, but we did have 20 kids show up for the first meeting of the ecology kids club.”  We can’t wait to meet them.

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Author: Laura Tiu – lgtiu@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent – Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Laura Tiu

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/03/31/the-florida-master-naturalist-program-training-local-americorps-volunteers/

Volunteers SPIN into 4-H and Find New Friends and Opportunities!

Becky Pengelley, SPin Sewing volunteer

Becky Pengelley, SPin Sewing volunteer

Many of our greatest relationships can be traced back to chance encounters. Evelyn Gonzalez and Becky Pengelly, the Leon County 4-H Sewing SPIN (Special Interest) Club Leaders, met by chance though the encouragement their 4-H Agent, Stefanie Prevatt. Evelyn learned of Leon County 4-H in the summer of 2014 through her service with the Tallahassee Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. A few short weeks later, Becky found the 4-H Office after learning about the program through her college coursework at the University of Florida. Both had a love of sewing, a passion for working with youth, and jam-packed schedules.  Not to be deterred, Evelyn and Becky quickly decided Florida 4-H’s new SPIN club model was the best fit for their busy schedules. When asked why she choose to volunteer with 4-H, Evelyn replied:

“Volunteering is always gratifying. There is a need and you are trying to fill it. Working with youth is stimulating and rewarding. They are smart, fast, and funny. They make me laugh. You learn about what makes kids tick, what their concerns are, and you learn about what you are teaching [sewing].

Evelyn Gonzalez teaching youth how to sew patches of a quilt.

Evelyn Gonzalez teaching youth how to sew patches of a quilt.

Sewing is expensive. The cost of material is the number one concern for the continual operation of the Leon County 4-H Sewing SPIN Club. Fees are necessary for some projects, but Evelyn and Becky work around this issue. Evelyn has lived in Tallahassee for years and has used her connectedness to solicit fabric donations to reduce fees for club members. Becky is a repurpose queen with a passion for teens. When asked what inspires her to continue to be a 4-H volunteer, Becky replied: The teens in our clubs come to each meeting so excited about what we are going to do, and they have so many ideas about what they will make once they learn4-H has provided opportunities for [them] to learn things that they wouldn’t learn anywhere else in the community.

The Leon County 4-H Sewing SPIN club has been serving Tallahassee since early 2015. With each new “spin,” members embark on a journey of learning new skills and creating projects that show their mastery of the subject. One parent stated: “Ms. Evelyn and Ms. Becky are so patient with the students.  They clearly put a lot of work and energy into every meeting.  The students leave with increased confidence and skill, which is evident from the huge smiles on their faces.  We so appreciate these two ladies, as well as the other volunteers that give so generously of their time.   The students are inspired, as well as challenged, to do more than they thought they could.”

Evelyn and Becky teach youth and parents to sew!

For those thinking about volunteering with Florida 4-H, Evelyn and Becky have this advice: “Don’t be afraid to work with someone different from you. Becky is a young college girl. We think we’re busy. And they’re busier. I marvel that they carve out some time on a Saturday to come help teach sewing. Share the load. Work with a team” (Evelyn) “I have had the opportunity to meet new people and to share the things I love with them! If you have something to share with children, 4-H will support you in doing this!” (Becky)

If you have a desire to make a difference in your community, think about sharing your talents with us!  You can fuel the extraordinary efforts of our youth by joining us as a volunteer.   To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.  Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week- Come back tomorrow to learn about Gadsden County Community Club Leader, Mrs. Linda Jones.

 

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Author: Stefanie Prevatt – sduda1@ufl.edu


http://leon.ifas.ufl.edu/4h

Stefanie Prevatt

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/14/volunteers-spin-into-4-h-and-find-new-friends-and-opportunities/

The Impact of Teen Volunteers As Camp Counselors

DSC01860Most of us are familiar with the need for our teens to become more independent, better communicators, and to develop good decision making skills.  A quick scan of the news headlines can really make one wonder about the future of our community, country, and world.  This post will help relieve your anxieties!  One of the ways that the Florida 4-H Program is successfully addressing this need is through our summer camp counselor program.  4-H Camp Counselors have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills while at the same time have a positive effect on the lives of many children. Counselors wear many hats during camp, sometimes serving in the role of a parent, role model, confidant, counselor, nurse, and mediator all in one day. The task of sharing the impact teen volunteers make as counselors was not very difficult since this is a role I have personally seen materialize while working as an 4-H extension educator. There is nothing more rewarding then to watch a child grow up starting out as a home sick camper, then developing into a confidence camper, and later becoming a responsible and dependable teen camp counselor.

A recent study in Wisconsin measuring the impact of being a camp counselor resulted in the following: Teens were asked “What is unique about being a counselor?” and “What skills have you develop as a result of serving as a counselor”? The top eight skills identified included (in order of ranking) leadership, people skills, communication, patience, responsibility, teamwork, problem solving, and planning. They also reported that this experience will help them prepare for their careers because of the skills they have learned (Forsythe, Matysik, and Nelson).

An individual study done on teens that have served as camp counselors in Leon County from 2005 – 2013 showed the top skills the teens gained by serving as a camp counselor were leadership, patience, how to work with kids, and cooperation. Several teens stated that their experience has helped them to decide on what to study in college as well as what career path they would like to pursue.  To bring it home and narrow the focus even more our Sr. Counselor application includes the following question: “How have you personally benefited from being a counselor?” All seven responses from our senior counselors can be summarized by the following statements:

“I’m more responsible and have made life long friendships”

“I have learned leadership skills and how to handle stressful situations”

“I’ve learned how to make campers have fun”

“It’s taught me how to communicate better and made me more outgoing”

“I was hired at my current job because I told my employee I was a camp counselor”

Research has clearly shown that the camp counselor experience provides an excellent opportunity for teens to gain leadership skills that are proven to build much needed life skills that will help them later in life.  To find out more about 4-H teen leadership programs, contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office.  If you have skills or experiences to share with teens to help prepare them for a future career, consider becoming a 4-H Volunteer.  We offer a variety of volunteer roles based on your interests and schedule.

We hope you have enjoyed this month’s series on 4-H Summer Camp.  Next week, a new series on summer safety will begin as Yolanda Goode shares firework safety tips!   Your opinion matters to us- please take this short survey to provide feedback to help us improve this blog https://ufl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3gtLKjqia3F75QN.

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Author: Marcus Boston Jr. – marcusb@ufl.edu

Marcus serves as a 4-H Extension Agent for Leon County and places empahasis in programs in the areas of science, leadership development, and civic engagement..

Marcus Boston Jr.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/06/26/the-impact-of-teen-volunteers-as-camp-counselors/

Nurturing Volunteers = Happy Campers

Camp would not be possible without volunteer Terre Arnold.

Camp would not be possible without volunteer Terre Arnold.

From scrapes and sunburns to headaches and homesickness, Terre Arnold is filling a critical role at 4-H Camp Timpoochee by keeping campers safe and healthy.  During the school year, Terre works as a school health aid and a bus driver so she is a natural fit to serve as the 4-H Camp Timpoochee nurse.  Terre has served as camp nurse for the Holmes/Washington/Okaloosa Counties week of 4-H residential camp for the past five years.  With her warm smile, infectious laugh, caring heart and love of fun, Terre easily soothes what ails the campers, makes them comfortable and sends them on their way to have fun.

Terre describes her camping experience as a joy from year to year. With each year bringing new experiences, she loves meeting new campers and seeing returning campers grow from year to year. From the youngest camper to veteran counselors, Terre has a way with kids that makes the overall camp experience better for them.  She’s also a great camp recruiter and never misses a chance to tell young kids what a great experience 4-H Camp is and how exciting and fun the week will be.

The 4-H camping program depends on volunteers like Terre.  Every county is required to have a camp nurse during their week at 4-H Camp Timpoochee or Camp Cherry Lake.  Typical responsibilities include curing occasional homesickness or tummy aches, or administering any prescription medications that campers may need during the week.   If you have an interest in serving as a camp nurse and would like to volunteer for your local 4-H program, contact your UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.

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Author: Julie Pigott Dillard – juliepd@ufl.edu

Julie Pigott Dillard is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Washington County..

Julie Pigott Dillard

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/06/19/nurturing-volunteers-happy-campers/

Military 4-H Volunteers Hit the Bullseye

Military 4-H Volunteers Hit the Bullseye

Volunteers insure that military youth have a consistent, quality 4-H experience.

Volunteers insure that military youth have a consistent, quality 4-H experience.

April is the Month of the Military Child, and no Volunteer Appreciation Celebration would be complete without acknowledging our 4-H military volunteers.  The team of volunteers and staff at the Naval Support Activity Youth Center in Panama City ensure that military youth have an opportunity to participate in a wide variety of 4-H Programs at their youth center. One of the newest programs they offer is the 4-H shooting sports project. The leadership team for this 4-H club include Ms. Alana, Mr. Cole, Ms. Heather, Ms. Jessica, Ms. Shelby and Ms. Tammy. To allow all interested youth to participate, they started multiple archery clubs that meet weekly helping new archers develop strength, accuracy, and discipline. A small competitive traveling team has also been organized to help youth improve their skills and potential of becoming competitive archers through their 4-H learning experiences.

Cole is a five year veteran 4-H volunteer who did not grow up in 4-H, but was drawn into the program by the opportunity to teach youth life and workface related skills through projects like archery, aerospace, film making, photography, outdoor cookery, robotics and rocketry. His favorite 4-H experience so far has been with the rocketry project: “The youth just really got into it! We learned about force, drag and flight. It was a unified project where everyone became involved and the learning just exploded. They were learning physics, science, and communication skills all at once. 4-H can really make a difference and cause youth to consider different careers too. It is really nice when you see a child that may be struggling in a different part of their life find their niche during one of the 4-H projects. You just see their confidence sky rocket and then carry over into their social confidence also.”

When talking with him recently he said that “4-H is conducive to relationship building while learning life skills allowing both youth and myself to grow. It gives us an organized meeting time with specific goals and direction allowing us to maximize our time and growth. It helps make a difference because it is the conduit running in the background to allow everything to happen. 4-H allows the flexibility of being able to try ideas, experience things and make their curricula work for my needs. The best part is that when youth leave here they have something consistent to look forward to at their next duty station. It provides youth with one consistent thing to look forward to. I feel like we are literally planting the seeds to help youth develop their life skills. The program is nationwide and can help with the many changes and challenges our youth face. We are an important cog in the wheel for navy youth.”

According to the Tufts University study on positive youth development, 4-H helps youth build resiliency, which is especially important for military youth.

According to the Tufts University study on positive youth development, 4-H helps youth build resiliency, which is especially important for military youth.

Cole offers advice for anyone thinking about working with 4-H and kids. “If you have even an inkling that you would enjoy working with youth, then do so! It can be very valuable to that child, to know someone cares about them. Your follow through with one child can make a great deal of difference in their life and be the encouragement they need to become something great. Quite often there are not enough role models and caring adults for today’s children. Take the 4-H challenge and help a kid today!”

Dr. Paula Davis, the Bay County 4-H Agent says, “I want to recognize that this 4-H club is truly a team effort. With so many youth involved, it definitely can’t be done with one just person.  I really appreciate the teams diligence, enthusiasm, and willingness to try new things with 4-H.  The quality of a youth’s 4-H experience to a large extent depends on the relationship built between the 4-H members and their volunteer leaders, and these are some of the best!”

Do you have a passion or expertise that you would like to pass on to the next generation?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer- we offer a wide variety of opportunities to fit your interests and schedule.  Contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org/volunteers.

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Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension
http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h/

pmdavis

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/04/16/military-4-h-volunteers-hit-the-bullseye/

Horse Volunteers with Heart

4-H horse volunteers are dedicated to helping youth learn lifelong leadership and horsemanship skills.

UF IFAS Photo

 

Last year, more than 4,000 youth participated in the Florida 4-H Horse Project. These youth would have never had the opportunity to learn horsemanship and leadership skills without horse project volunteers. Project leaders not only work with 4-H clubs, they often serve on committees to help plan and implement shows and other horse related events. In the Florida panhandle, twenty-three volunteers comprise the Area A 4-H Horse Advisory Committee. These volunteers plan and execute our district qualifying show (coming up this weekend in Marianna) as well as assist with the state horse show in Tampa. They also plan other horse project related events such as horse judging, showmanship clinics, nutrition seminars, 4-H Hippology and Horse Quiz Bowl.

“The Area A Horse Committee Volunteers are some of the most dedicated volunteers I have ever met,” shares Heather Kent, the regional 4-H agent.  “Many of them have witnessed first-hand the potential of the 4-H horse program to help youth learn lifelong leadership and communication skills and they share a legacy of caring and compassion that influences every youth they work with.”

Terry Stout is one of those volunteers.  Terry states, “I grew up in 4-H and FFA and when my daughters were old enough, they joined the Eglin Riding Stables 4-H Club to learn how to groom and care for their horses.  4-H was a large influence on them and now that they are alumni, they give back by teaching and helping the next generation of horse kids.  I have learned a lot as a volunteer, and I am involved on many advisory boards because I know I can help most by being a voice for youth and other volunteers.”

4-H volunteers plan and implement educational events at the club, county, district and even state levels.

4-H volunteers plan and implement educational events at the club, county, district and even state levels. Escambia County 4-H Photo

Anne Peterson, a 4-H volunteer from Escambia County, says “I became involved with 4-H when my daughter was 10 years old.  I have always wanted to protect our youth and see that they receive the best instruction possible for their horse project.  In order to see this happen, I became involved in the local, area, and state horse program.  Today I still see the need for volunteers to continue making the best better and as long as there is a need I want to help any way I can.”  Anne was inducted to the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame in 2013 for her service as a volunteer.

Barry Hoffman, a Leon County volunteer, got involved in 1997 with the Trailblazers 4-H Club.  Seeing a need for funds to help youth attend 4-H horse camp, Barry led a committee to organize a Horse Expo at the North Florida Fairgrounds to teach others about riding techniques, horse management, tack sales, and more.  “Barry is always available to help with whatever is needed- which has even included helping me when by car broke down on the interstate on the way to a horse committee meeting.  He continues to serve at the district level eleven years after his youngest son graduated from 4-H.  Barry plays a major role in both the area and state horse shows, and is an incredibly valuable resource for us,” says Marcus Boston, the Leon County 4-H Agent.

Jean McMillian, a Gulf County volunteer, has been involved for more than 40 years.  Roy Carter, the Gulf County Extension Director says, “Mrs. McMullian has led three generations of 4-H youth through the 4-H horse program.  Her club, the Big River Riders 4-H Club, holds the county record for the longest running 4-H club and she is one of the strongest leaders we have ever had the pleasure to work with.  She has been the backbone of our horse program and is always willing to help in any capacity.”  Her son Russell is continuing the family tradition by being involved as the co-chair for the speed events for the area qualifying show.

Terry Harris has volunteered in both Jackson and Gadsden counties since the early 90’s, helping hundreds of youth with their horse projects.  Angel Granger, the Jackson County 4-H Agent shares, “Even though his nephews are grown now, Terry continues to work tirelessly with 4-H and is a wonderful advocate for the program.  We are very fortunate to have someone like him working at both the club level and serving as a member of the 4-H Area A Horse Advisory Committee.”

Lucy Notestine has been a volunteer for the last 8 years, and currently serves as the Area A Horse Advisory President. She, her daughter Shane Kenny and Dara Strickland raise over $ 2,000.00 each year to provide incentive awards for area horse show participants.  Their 4-H Agent, Dr. Paula Davis says, “They realize that many youth are too young to advance to the state show therefore they work really hard to make the Area A Show a special event to encourage further participation and help the program grow.”

These stories have one very important thing in common- each of these volunteers has a heart for helping young people succeed.  If you have a similar passion, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  To find out how, contact your local Extension Office or visit  http://florida4h.org/volunteers.  If you are a parent or volunteer new to the 4-H Horse Project, Angel Granger,y, has developed a  handy checklist to help you prepare for your next show. You can download the checklist and keep it in your show box or horse trailer so that you are always prepared to do your very best. If you laminate the list, you can use a dry-erase marker to check items off each time you pack your trailer.

Your opinion matters to us!  Please complete this short survey so we can improve this blog https://ufl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3gtLKjqia3F75QN.

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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/04/15/horse-volunteers-with-heart/

Super Saturday Seminar for Cloverbud Volunteers

dsc03699w[1]Cloverbuds are 4-H members between the ages of 5 and 7 and are curious, energetic and fun!   Start off the new year by learning how to work with cloverbud age youth in your club.  A Super Saturday Seminar will be held for any 4-H volunteer interested in learning how to teach cloverbuds on January 24th, 2015, from 10AM-3PM at Chipola College in Marianna. The training will cover a variety of topics, and each volunteer will leave with ready-to-use kits. Choose two sessions to attend:

  • Beach Buddies- a series of educational activities that can be done before, during and after a visit to the beach to learn science and conservation.
  • Exploring Science- using popular children’s books, science experiments, and creative and recreational activities to introduce cloverbuds to scientific concepts.
  • Budding Gardeners- learn how to cultivate a love of gardening and agriculture.
  • Poultry and Rabbits- learn about breeds, animal nutrition, and safety.
  • Visual Arts- learn how arts and crafts are similar yet different while exploring the science of visual arts.

 

CEUs are available for teachers. For more information, or to register, visit http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/district-4h/super-saturday-seminars/.

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Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/12/11/super-saturday-seminar-for-cloverbud-volunteers/

Teen Volunteers: Impacting Their Communities

John G. Lilly

jgl@ufl.edu

Jefferson County Extension Director/4-H Agent

Young people in 4-H are committed to improving their communities. Dr. Richard Lerner, and the team at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University highlights a notable trend. 4-H youth are three times more likely to actively contribute to their communities when compared with youth who do not participate in 4-H.

Making a Difference

A study showed that natural disasters and tragedies at schools in recent years have caused teens to worry and be more concerned about others. Yet at the same time, their goals for the future tend to be very encouraging. A common theme voiced by teens in the study was striving to “Make the Best Better.” 4-H teens believe that the key to “Making the Best Better” lies in looking beyond themselves and volunteering for causes they care about. Teens, even more than adults, love to feel they are making a difference and having an impact on their community. They also love to see the effects of their efforts.

Teens’ desire to give back covers a wide range of interests: “being good,” “giving back to the world,” “helping animals,” “doing community service”, being a leader,” “ending poverty and hunger”, “going to college”, and “curing cancer.” However, through giving back, teens also get something for themselves; experiences that help them gain new skills and develop empathy for others.

In Jefferson County, each year the 4-H teen council gives back to the community by participating in the following service projects:  The 4-H adopt-a-road project, nursing home visits, the 4-H Nature Trail Clean-Up,  Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Neighborhood Clean-up, the Thanksgiving food basket giveaway, and 4-H District III Citrus Project.

Allison Cone, 17-year-old Jefferson County 4-H Teen Council Officer was asked why she volunteers. She stated, “I like to volunteer to make a difference in my community and to help those who are in need.”

 Long-lasting benefits

Teens’ insights mirror recent research on volunteering. Community service not only benefits society, it enriches the lives of people who provide the service. Young volunteers have higher self-esteem, perform better in school, build leadership skills, and learn how to solve community problems better than their counterparts who do not volunteer. Research conducted by the Washington based coalition Independent Sector also shows that adults are twice as likely to volunteer if they participated in community service as teens.

Teens clearly need exposure to projects about social issues that help bridge their empathy, interest, and compassion into action. Yet this depends on the cognitive, social, and emotional stage of development. As teens mature, they learn to “set goals”, “motivate others”, and develop “critical thinking skills”. To keep youth engaged, volunteering needs to be fun and relevant to teens’ lives—two key reasons teens begin and continue to participate.

 Teens: Ahead of the Curve

A national study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau and Independent Sector demonstrated the high rates of teen volunteering in the United States. The study found that 55 percent of U.S. teenagers volunteered, a number nearly double that of adults. The study also found that the nation’s teenagers performed more than 1.3 billion hours of community service each year. Additionally, 74 percent of youth who volunteer do so through a religious organization or youth leadership organization such as 4-H.

With 4-H’s longstanding history and commitment to volunteering, our organization will continue to lead the way in promoting civic participation in new and innovative ways. The benefits have a ripple effect; reaped now, and in the future.

Young people in 4-H are committed to improving their communities. Dr. Richard Lerner, and the team at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University highlights a notable trend. 4-H youth are three times more likely to actively contribute to their communities when compared with youth who do not participate in 4-H.

 

Jefferson County 4-H County Council members poses after cleaning a two mile stretch of their 4-H Adopt-A-Road Project.

Jefferson County 4-H County Council members poses after cleaning a two mile stretch of their 4-H Adopt-A-Road Project.

Jefferson County Teen Council member Allison Cone teaching a class at 4-H Blitz entitled “Electro-Juice” .

Jefferson County Teen Council member Allison Cone teaching a class at 4-H Blitz entitled “Electro-Juice” .

The Jefferson County Teen  Council  volunteer through out the year to  maintain  the 4-H Nature Trail

The Jefferson County Teen Council volunteer through out the year to maintain the 4-H Nature Trail

 

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Author: jgl1 – jgl@ufl.edu

jgl1

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/11/09/teen-volunteers-impacting-their-communities/

Northwest Agents Win National Award Thanks to Volunteers

The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents has awarded the 4-H agents in the Northwest Extension District of Florida their national award for Excellence in 4-H Volunteerism.  This award is given to the agent or group of agents who show(s) an unequaled dedication to providing quality volunteer development programs. In our district, each county provides local volunteer training and development, but we also work as a district to bring you opportunities like our district-wide volunteer leader forum at 4-H Camp Timpoochee and district-wide shooting sports volunteer trainings in each discipline each year.

While the agents are to be congratulated for working hard and receiving this award, many thanks go to our wonderful volunteers throughout the district who support 4-H programming in Florida.  Every club leader, project leader, camp volunteer, fair judge, and so on, is in part responsible for the success of Florida 4-H.  We are so grateful for your unwavering dedication to 4-H Youth Development.  Furthermore, we invite you to continue to help us “Make the Best Better” through our Make a Difference Monday’s volunteer training series.  The series will begin August 19, 2013 and will run the third Monday of every month through April 2014.  Your local extension office will be able to provide you with further details including topics for each session in the series. 

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Author: Whitney Cherry – cherryw@ufl.edu

Whitney Cherry is a 4-H Extension Agent in the NW District.

Whitney Cherry

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/07/09/northwest-agents-win-national-award-thanks-to-volunteers/

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