PREPARING YOUTH TO MAKE DECISIONS TODAY AND FOR THEIR FUTURE
Nebraska 4-H prepares youth to make well-informed decisions through Career Development and Healthy Living programs. Signature program efforts designed to prepare youth to make decisions today and for their future include 4-H Healthy Habits Grand, Connecting the Dots, and Next Chapter at Nebraska. Together, these programs are making a significant impact on youth across the state.
4-H Healthy Habits Grant
The 4-H Healthy Habit grant, sponsored by National 4-H Council and the Walmart Foundation, mobilized youth to take action around healthy choices. Over 75 partnerships were developed across 28 counties in Nebraska. More than 2,700 K-12th grade youth received at least six hours of healthy living education.
Extension professionals mentored 54 teen volunteers who then spent over 800 hours helping plan, prepare, and deliver programs in their communities. Teens (n=48) reported giving their family healthy meal or snack ideas (60%) and learning about healthy food choices (91%). From open-ended responses, teens reported learning about cooking skills, trying new things, and living a healthier lifestyle.
Connecting the Dots
Connecting the Dots, an interactive career exploration simulation program tripled the number of youth reached, engaging over 4,700 9th- and 10th-grade students in opportunities to learn about careers of interest as well as how to “connect the dots” from 9th grade, through post-secondary, to the workplace.
As a result of the Connecting the Dots program:
- 97% think it is important that they do their job well.
- 84% learned how to act professionally.
- 80% say 4-H has helped them identify things they are good at and explore their future career options.
Next Chapter at Nebraska
Next Chapter, a college readiness program and a UNL pre-admittance program, is offered to 8th-grade students enrolled in 4-H. Throughout high school, pre-admitted students engage in events, activities, and curriculum during which they will learn how to successfully transition from high school to college. In two years, Next Chapter has served over 1,800 youth in all five Extension Districts. Coming in 2019, 120 Omaha Bryan High School Freshmen will receive pre-admission letters as part of the first Omaha Public School Next Chapter Retreat. The Next Chapter program is also growing through partnerships in Tennessee, Illinois, and New Mexico.
Next Chapter Program