Who We Are
Clemson University Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development will enhance the lives of youth in South Carolina by providing positive youth development programs relating to the areas of agriculture, community engagement and leadership, healthy living, and science.
Clemson University Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth gain the knowledge and skills to be responsible, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished by creating safe and inclusive learning environments, involvement of caring adults, and utilizing the expertise and resources of Clemson University and the nationwide land-grant university system.
4-H’ers across the nation are responding to challenges every day in their communities and their world.
As the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System of land-grant universities, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowering six million young people throughout the United States. Cooperative Extension of 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities provide the leadership to engage young people in 4-H in all 3,007 counties of the United States. The impact of the Cooperative Extension partnership is profound, bringing together National Institute of Food and Agriculture of USDA, land grant universities and county government to resource learning opportunities for youth.
Through America’s 110 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation—from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 6 million youth, 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 25 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.
The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is the first-ever research project of its kind. The decade-long study, completed by a team of researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, Medford, MA, is influencing research and practice around the world.
The report shows that 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. 4-H'ers are about:
- Four times more likely to make contributions to their communities (Grades 7-12);
- Two times more likely to be civically active (Grades 8-12);
- Two times more likely to make healthier choices (Grade 7);
- Two times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering and Computer Technology programsduring out-of-school time (Grades 10 – 12); and
- 4-H girls are two times more likely (Grade 10) and nearly three times more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.
4-H Youth Development in South Carolina
South Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program follows the same mission and model as the National 4-H program. It uses the same a learn-by-doing approach, the involvement of caring adults, with the additional knowledge and resources of Clemson University as part of the land grant university system to empower youth to become healthy, productive, and contributing members of society.
To find out more on 4-H in South Carolina, check out this program model (288 KB, PDF).