Today’s youth experience challenges similar to those their parents experienced, but often do so in a more hostile and socially exposed (social media) environment. Although communities recognize the need for life skills education, programs offered (e.g. homework help, crafts, and recreation) often lack depth. USU Extension/4-H is partnering with DWS to implement a new program (Teen Spheres of Influence) to strengthen existing youth councils, by strengthening their foundational skills in Leadership, Community Outreach, Mentoring and Career Readiness. Participating Youth Council sites will receive programmatic funding, engaging curriculum, and fun educational annual conferences for both adult advisors and teens.
Background on 4-H
4-H is more than what many see as an agricultural center program. It is the only positive youth development program tied to the National Land Grant University system. Today 4-H is one of the largest youth organizations with over 6 million members engaged in STEM, Leadership, Healthy living and of course Agriculture and Natural Resources. 4-H brings University expertise, training, curriculum and institutional knowledge to any partnership. In a longitudinal study, Tufts University compared 4-Hers with participants in other youth programs. The study found 4-Hers have better grades, are two times more likely to attend college, and 41% make healthier life and relationship choices. In addition, 4-Hers are 3.4 times more likely to delay sexual intercourse through high school. Schools and afterschool providers need Cooperative Extension 4-H partners with the knowledge and experience to effectively train staff and implement needed non-formal, research-based life skills education programs.
The evidence based program, Developmental Relationships, will be used to develop positive relationships with caring adults and other youth. The positive relationships correlate significantly with increased resilience and decreased risky behavior. Decreased risky behavior becomes significantly more pronounced when youth are involved in service learning and/or near-peer mentoring (and the benefits of near-peer mentoring are significant for both the mentors and the youth they mentor (Karcher, Berger, 2017). This is especially true with low-income and underserved youth populations (Haft et. al, 2019).
Teen Spheres of Influence Resources
The leadership curriculum is currently in development. Check back soon for more!
Adaptability as a skill refers to the ability of a person to change his actions, course or approach to doing things in order to suit a new situation.
Adaptability / Managing Change
A skill is the ability to do something well. Skills are typically acquired or developed through direct experiences and training, and they can require sustained effort. Therefore, personal skills are simply those skills that you possess and consider your strengths.
Values and Ethics
Planning and organizing skills help you manage time, tools and resources to reach a goal.
Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.
Social awareness is a person's ability to consider the perspectives of other individuals, groups, or communities, and respond to them in a kind and compassionate manner.
Emotional Intelligence EQ
Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.