Important Alert!

In 2018, Nebraska 4-H will begin accepting Annual Achievement Applications for youth interested in attending National 4-H Congress or National 4-H Conference. Youth may continue to use the Career Portfolio as a means of applying as a delegate for National 4-H Congress in 2018.

The Nebraska 4-H Career Portfolio is the annual record-keeping system used by Nebraska 4-H youth. It is a composite of all 4-H and non 4-H projects/activities throughout the individual's 4-H career. The 4-H Career Portfolio is required for Nebraska 4-H youth to be eligible for many county and state awards. 

County Level

  • The county may set their own limitations, incentives, and deadlines regarding the 4-H Career Portfolios. Please contact your local Extension office for more information.
  • County level 4-H participants may be selected to represent two curriculum areas at the state level.

State Level

  • 4-H Career Portfolios must be submitted at a county level in order to advance to a state level.
  • 4-H Career Portfolios that have advanced to the state level are annually due January 15 to the District Research and Extension Center.
  • Nebraska will select youth to represent the state at the National 4-H Youth Congress based upon the achievements outlined in the 4-H Career Portfolio.


Any enrolled 4-H'er completing their second year of a 4-H project is eligible to apply for incentives offered for that project area. When applying for an award based on one or more of the eight curriculum area(s), the applicant must be enrolled in a related project at the time of the application and remain enrolled through the time of the event or program provided as recognition.

All state award applicants must turn 15-19 during the calendar year in which the incentive is actually received. Any 4-H'ers receiving an award resulting in an event/trip must meet the age requirements of that event/trip. Please see 4-H Congress for information regarding eligibility and limitations.

Please contact your local Extension office for your county's eligibility rules.


County Level

  • Counties may set their own limitations on the number of incentives an individual may apply for at the county level.

State Level

  • For competition beyond the county level, an individual 4-H member may be selected at the county level for state competition in two curriculum areas.
  • Youth may apply in two curriculum areas regardless of place of residence. For example, an individual belonging to two clubs in different counties may only submit two books, not two books per county of membership.

Content & Organization Guidelines


  • The 4-H Career Portfolio should be placed in an ACCO folder to facilitate handling and judging.
  • Margin and font guidelines should not be changed in the 4-H Career Portfolio.
  • None of the pages in the 4-H Career Portfolio should be placed in plastic sleeves.
  • Each 4-H Career Portfolio should have an Application and Curriculum Form related to the specific Portfolio. A 4-H'er can submit two Portfolios in different curriculum areas but only one trip will be awarded if both portfolios are selected as winners. The 4-H member must indicate which curriculum area is their first and second choice on the Application and Curriculum Form.
  • If a 4-H'er submits two record book each book must contain a 4-H story and supporting material related to the curriculum area that Portfolio is applying in.
  • Project Record Books should not be included in the 4-H Career Portfolio.
  • 4-H'ers can use preprinted tab pages or they can print the tab pages with their computer and add a plastic tab to the bottom of the printed tab pages.
  • The back of the tab pages contain instructions and examples for each Portfolio section.
  • Signature pages should be completed in all 4-H Career Portfolios.

Contents & Organization

The following materials are required in the 4-H Career Portfolio and should be assembled in the order listed. A separate book must be submitted for each application.

The full NE4H9000 Career Portfolio template is available for download as a PDF or Word Doc. Each section may also be downloaded individually (see sections below). 

  1. Cover
    • Use a standard Acco-type fastener binder for paper size 8.5 x 11 inches. Do not use loose-leaf ring binder.
  2. Pre-printed tab dividers
  3. Application and Curriculum Forms
    • Download Application and Curriculum Forms – Doc | PDF
  4. 4-H Career Portfolio (Sections 1-3)
    • Download Section 1: Project Accomplishments – Doc | PDF 
    • Download Section 2: 4-H Leadership, Community Services, Volunteer, Citizenship & Educational Experiences – Doc | PDF
    • Download Section 3: Non 4-H Experiences – Doc | PDF
    • A composite of all 4-H and non 4-H projects/activities through the individuals 4-H career.
    • The 4-H Career Portfolio has been designed for use with Microsoft Word and Open Office. It is not required to be typed.
    • Additional pages may be added to the form as indicated.
    • The 4-H Career Portfolio information should be printed using True Type Font, Time New Roman, 12 point and in Landscape format.
  5. 4-H Curriculum Story (Section 4)
    • Download Section 4: Curriculum Story – Doc | PDF
    • Maximum of 6 pages on one side, double-spaced with 1.5 inches top margin and 1 inch side and bottom margins, True Type font, Time News Roman, 12 point font printed in the Landscape format.
    • Suggested story format: (the following outline may help in the development of your story; however, do not identify these parts in your story.)
      1. Part 1 - Introduction: Introduce yourself, you may wish to include information about your family and personal interest. Include when and why you joined 4-H, etc. You may want to tell why 4-H is important to you.
      2. Part 2 - Describe Your Growth in Your Curriculum Area: Relate some of the experiences and activities while you were completing your 4-H project(s). Share how 4-H and your project(s) helped you learn new knowledge and skills. You may want to include ideas you tried that were successful or unsuccessful.
      3. Part 3 - Other 4-H Projects and Experiences: Share highlights of other 4-H project, activities, or experiences not mentioned in Part 2 (see above), include any major learning experiences, items of special interest, and/or unusual situation you encountered.
      4. Part 4 - Leadership/Community Service related to Your Curriculum Area: Explain how 4-H has helped you become a better leader and citizen. How has 4-H increased your interest and participation in community affairs, and what you have learned from team efforts?
      5. Part 5 - Conclusion: Summarize the impact of 4-H on you. Describe how 4-H participation has helped you develop personally and professionally. Share your future goals and discuss the career you want to pursue and why.
    • Remember: Your story should be written in first person, check for typographical errors and avoid gimmicks such as a calf telling your story. Stories should be specific to the curriculum area you are applying - do not write a general story and do not include county annual story.
  6. Supporting Material (Section 5)
    • Download Section 5: Support Materials – Doc | PDF
    • These materials must provide documentation to support your 4-H Career Portfolio.
    • No more than 4 pages of photos.
    • Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos.
    • A maximum of 6 pages.
    • all materials must fit within the confines of an 11 x 8.5 inches landscape page.
    • Photo pages:
      • Maximum of 4 pages of photos
      • Include a brief caption explaining the pictures
      • make sure to select photos that compliment the curriculum area
      • action photos provide more impressive documentation of 4-H activities
      • photos showing year-to-year progress or leadership activities provide excellent documentation of growth
      • color photocopies and/or digital photos are acceptable
      • photocopies of newspaper print pictures are NOT acceptable
      • DO NOT overlap photos where one photo must be lifted to see another
    • Optional supporting materials pages:
      • Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos
      • material should relate specifically to 4-H curriculum area
      • items must fit on 11 x 8.5 inches landscape page
      • DO NOT include letters of recommendation
      • DO NOT use newspaper clippings or newspaper articles
      • photography projects cannot include extra photo pages
      • DO NOT include specific project record book


County Level

The annual deadline for the completed County 4-H Career Portfolio is typically in the fall. Contact your local Extension office for more information regarding deadlines and submission.

State Level

The Nebraska 4-H Career Portfolios that have advanced to state competition are due January 15 to the District Research and Extension Center.


Twenty-three state level applicants will be chosen for partial scholarships to attend National 4-H Congress. Please see National 4-H Congress for more information regarding eligibility, limitations, and other rules.