Employers need a workforce with soft skills such as teamwork, time-management, personal accountability, and strong work ethic. Participation in 4-H helps youth develop these and other valuable life skills. Youth are able to recognize the impact that 4-H participation has had on their development.
Youth in 4-H club work develop life skills through club activities and project work. Projects are selected by the youth depending upon their interests. Each year in the project new skills are learned or further developed. Youth are guided and mentored by caring, competent adult volunteers who are screened and trained by Purdue Extension staff.
Involvement in 4-H clubs helps students develop teamwork skills and provides opportunities to contribute to their club and community. Most participate in service projects in addition to helping younger members of their clubs with project work.
4-H trips provide other opportunities for youth to meet new people, to explore careers, and to learn more about the world around them.
Perry County has a strong 4-H program with 317 youth in grades K-12 enrolled in 2015. The completion rate continues to increase. In 2015 91.8% of the members completed. This is a 4.7% increase in the completion rate from 2014.
4-H members are asked reflect upon their experience in 4-H and draw conclusions as to the benefits they have gained from 4-H. Over 90% of the respondents stated that 4-H taught them to try new things (98.4%), help others in the community (96.9%), work with others (92.9%), make independent choices (92.1%). Nearly 90% learned leadership skills and had opportunities to practice these skills (89.8%). Empathy and caring for others was learned by 85.8%, and 83.5% gained self-confidence.
Youth stay in 4-H because they have fun and they learn life skills and lessons.
“4-H is a great organization as you learn so many life skills all while having fun!”
“I learned that you need to try your best and give 100% in everything you do.”
“I learned that to be successful I must work.”
“It taught me deadlines because you have to turn projects in on time.”
“It is fun and helps me to learn outside of school.”
“It’s a great way to get yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people.”
“4-H makes me feel confident and I want others to feel confident, too!”
“It helped me meet a deadline and learn how to teach others.”
“It helps me do things on my own.”
“It taught me time management skills.”