4-H and service learning after a pre-college program

Participate in service learning through 4-H after a pre-college program.

Many universities and colleges offer pre-college programs for youth with the goal of introducing them to majors, careers, life on a college campus, financial aid and other goals. These programs can take place during summer or the academic school year and can help prepare students for college once they graduate from high school. After students have participated in the pre-college program, they can expand their pre-college experience by participating in service learning or volunteering.

How can service learning be used to continue the pre-college programming experience? First, if a student learned about a skill or discovered a talent during their time during the program, they can use that skill to teach other youth. 4-H is a great option for youth to connect with other youth and teach a skill or use their talent through a 4-H club. After-school programs are also a great place to utilize those teaching skills.

Other than teaching other youth, students can volunteer in general by participating in a variety of community service activities. In 4-H clubs, 4-H volunteer leaders and 4-H members plan and participate in different service activities to give back to their community. Finding community organizations you are passionate about in your community is a great way to give back, share what you learned at the pre-college program and build your resume.

As students participate in the service learning or community service activity, they can take the time to write about their experience and the skills gained in a journal to help prepare for college. It is also helpful to write in a journal during and after the pre-college program. The experience gained and the skills learned can be highlighted in an application for college admission or for a scholarship, so having those ideas in a journal helps make the application writing even easier.

Pre-college programs offer a great experience for students to prepare for higher education. Students have the option of joining 4-H to get involved in volunteer and service activities to continue their pre-college experience and prepare for their future. Students in Michigan can contact their Michigan State University Extension county office to join 4-H and learn about the different opportunities 4-H offers in community service and service learning and leadership, citizenship and service.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management, and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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