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4-H Youth Development

  • Our Youth. Our Nation's Future


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  • 4-H Youth Development

    4‑H is America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.

    The 4‑H Youth Development STEM program is delivered by University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Extension in collaboration with University of Maryland Extension. Extension is a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences for young people to learn by doing. The mission of 4-H is to teach youth ages 5-18 about citizenship, leadership, and life skills so that they develop into competent, caring, compassionate, and contributing citizens. 

    For more than 100 years, 4‑H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving youth a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. Through life-changing 4‑H programs, over six million youth have taken on critical societal issues, such as addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all. 

    In 4‑H, youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Youth experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps. 4‑H’s reach and depth are unmatched, reaching youth in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities.

    The UMES Extension 4-H STEM program began as an effort to increase outreach to undeserved youth through in-school, after-school, special events and camp programs. These efforts focus on programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as a way to prepare youth for a growing STEM workforce and enhance the ongoing efforts of partner organizations. >>READ MORE>>