Roscommon County investing in Roscommon County youth with 4-H and MSU Extension 2017

MSU Extension's 4-H program has impacted more than 672 youth in Roscommon County.

In Roscommon County 4-H, we believe in the power of young people. By providing opportunities to learn and lead, 4-H helps youth become informed and engaged community members. While exploring new topics and activities in an experiential way, youth build the skills they need for life.

In 2017, Roscommon County 4-H had a total of 12 screened adult volunteers, 588 youth enrolled as 4-H club members and five youth who attended summer camps from around the county. Youth develop essential skills while participating in 4-H such as problem solving, decision making, leadership, resiliency and communication.

4-H is unique in that it offers experiences to young people who live in cities or rural areas by providing the opportunity to participate in community 4-H clubs, learning experiences in school classrooms, day and overnight camps and other special interest events. One example includes MSU 4-H Exploration Days, a pre-college program where over 2,500 youth stay in MSU residence halls, take a variety of action-packed classes and experience other aspects of a major university. In 2017, three youth and two adults from Roscommon County attended MSU 4-H Exploration Days.

“Exploration days was fun because I got to see a university and what it is like to stay there and attend classes. It makes me want to go to college.” - 4-H youth member

Beyond the excitement of learning something new through a project, youth have the opportunity to participate in leadership conferences, travel the world, become involved in their community through service, and meet new friends in a safe and comfortable setting. A young person’s experiences in 4-H makes a difference for a lifetime by allowing them to grow and appreciate the importance of being a good citizen, strong leader and person of character.

Leaders also help youth achieve their personal goals and provide encouragement and a support system. According to a five year study by Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, children with mentors were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems. Girls in the study were four times less likely to become bullies than those without a mentor and boys were two times less likely. In general, young people showed increased belief in their abilities to succeed in school and felt less anxiety related to peer pressure. We believe our leaders change lives.

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