Build your future – Put your 4-H experience to work
Michigan State University Extension suggests 4-H project idea for high school-aged youth.
Through career exploration and workforce preparation, I recently completed teaching a new 4-H project in Berrien County that was well received and very successful for the small group of youth involved. “Build Your Future – Put your 4-H Experience to Work” was offered as a six hour county project.
Delivered as three hands-on lessons, participants learned how to explain their 4-H experience in terms of life and employability skills. Members also identified possible job or career interests and were encouraged to weave their 4-H, school and extracurricular experiences together for the creation of a resume and employability portfolio. This project was created in a way that it could be evaluated and/or exhibited through a 4-H achievement event or potentially through a county fair. A summary of the project plan included:
- Introduction to the topic and get acquainted activity
- Purpose of career exploration
- Viewing your 4-H experience through life skills – mask activity
- Skills assessment
- Introduction to portfolios
- Set the stage for session II
- Your 4-H resume
- Create your resume
- Set the stage for session III
- Overview of portfolios
- Assemble your employability portfolio
- Prepare youth portfolio for evaluation
Suggested Evaluation Questions/Statements
- Why is this type of project important to 4-H members?
- What is the difference between a 4-H project and a life skill?
- What is your current Career Pathway?
- What are the basic parts of a resume?
- What is the difference between employability and career portfolios?
- Are a portfolio and a scrapbook the same thing? Why?
- What types of things are included in a portfolio?
- Please show me your portfolio.
- Will you continue to add to your portfolio?
- Did this project help your understanding of what you may have already learned in school about building your future? Why?
- Would you like to see this type of project continue? Why?
- Participants were fully engaged the entire six hours and their enthusiasm was contagious!
- One participant already used her resume to apply for a job.
- 100 percent of participants encouraged us to continue this project and to build on it for the future.
- I witnessed “ah ha” moments as participants began to understand connections between their schoolwork, extracurricular activities and 4-H projects.
On June 24, 2013, I will teach a workshop in Southwest Michigan for adult volunteers to learn how to implement this type of educational project with youth. Watch for a future workshop announcement and for the event to be posted on the Michigan State University Extension website.