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Study finds 4-H offers opportunities and confidence to youth

Posted 10/16/2008

A 2007 study found that youth who belong to 4-H Clubs were more likely to express stronger care for others, engage in youth activities, participate in more leadership opportunities and possess higher levels of self-confidence and character.

The study, "The 4-H Advantage: How Nevada 4-H Youth Differ From Those With No 4-H Experience," was conducted by Steve Lewis, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Educator.

"This study is unique in that it focuses on Nevada statewide," Lewis said. "We analyzed the results into four categories: 4-H participation, gender, population density and age groups."

The 65-question survey was completed by nearly 1,500 5th-, 7th- and 9th-grade students in six of Nevada’s school districts. It highlights the differences between Nevada 4-H youth and those with no experience in 4-H. Students’ responses showed there are advantages to being involved in 4-H, including a willingness to help and respect others, improved confidence in themselves, leadership opportunities and the ability to make a difference. Youth found interest in an array of activities through their involvement in 4-H, including sports, leadership positions in student government and extra-curricular activities.

The study showed that 4-H can lead to many other options, long after participation in the club is over. It opens many doors for students for whatever activity they want to be involved in. Those with 4-H experience were able to gain a stronger sense of self and use it to contribute to their schools, families and communities.

For more information about the 4-H Advantage study, contact Lewis at 775-782-9960, lewiss@unce.unr.edu, or visit www.unce.unr.edu/4H. 4-H is the youth development program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE). Information on 4-H can be found at the 19 UNCE offices, the State 4-H Office at 775-784-6206, or www.unce.unr.edu.

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