Clemson 4-H – preparing S.C. youth for the future

By Susan Bedingfield

4-H teaches citizenship and language skills to hispanic youth

Young people across South Carolina are involved in 4-H activities that are constantly changing to meet their needs. Many people are familiar with the 4-H programs that teach youth to care for lambs or beef cattle but there are many other programs developed for specific interest groups. Here is just one example.

Seeing a need to reach the growing Hispanic community, Clemson 4-H began an outreach program that helps Spanish–speaking students succeed in school and reaches out to their communities to promote cultural understanding.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, a series of 7-Habits of Successful Teens programs were offered in Spanish to Hispanic students at Greenville County’s Berea and Southside High and Oconee County’s Walhalla Middle School.

Approximately 200 South Carolina Hispanic teens have benefited from these leadership workshops,” said Bob Lippert, 4-H youth educator and Latino liaison. “This is yet another example of how Clemson Public Service multiplies its value to South Carolina.

The 4-H international program is beginning to take root. What started with an Internet list to help South Carolina 4-H’ers communicate with high school students from Costa Rica became a full-blown cultural experience for three Clemson 4-H’ers.

Erica Wiley of Hampton County, Erica Ettinger of Laurens County and Holly Young of Clarendon County traveled to Costa Rica in June as part of a 4-H international exchange. The Clemson 4-H’ers stayed with host families. Money for the trip came from donors, grants, 4-H families and fundraisers.

 “I can think of no better way for the leaders of tomorrow to be prepared for the future than by learning about other cultures and peoples,” said Lippert.

In addition, a $25,000 grant, funded by the South Carolina Department of Education, helped Clemson 4-H bring younger Hispanic students in Oconee County improve their English skills by holding summer workshops twice a week.  The students are also learning about American culture and what it means to be a good citizen.

For more information visit or contact your county Clemson Extension office.