Center for 4-H and Youth Development
Mission & Overview
The Center for 4-H and Youth Development of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, of the University of the District of Columbia, seeks to engage youth in experiential opportunities with caring adults that allow youth to acquire knowledge, develop life skills, and form attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing stewards of positive change in their communities, and in the world. The Center for 4-H & Youth Development serves as a sponsor and support for local 4-H clubs, programs, and activities, through a system of volunteers. We do so by supporting youth-led 4-H clubs, facilitating youth projects, developing programs, hosting events, and providing youth-centered training for adults, all of which we aim to do in the schools, and through organizations and communities, across all eight wards.
The Center supports 4-H Clubs and programs that are specific to schools, churches, centers and programs that engage young people who are their members or attendees. The Center also supports clubs in the District that are led by parents with ideas. Anyone interested in starting a 4-H club should contact the Center for more information.
The purpose of the 4-H program is to provide positive youth development opportunities to meet the needs of young people; to ensure that they experience: belonging, independence, and generosity, master skills, and gain a depth of knowledge. The club membership is open to all youth, ages 5-24, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, veteran or military status, or sexual orientation.
- Engage youth in experiential activities that spark interest and an eagerness to learn to apply science and technology information to new situations that they lead and learn from.
- Provide a variety of life skills through directed programming that helps young people develop competencies, strengthen their abilities to make intelligent decisions, solve problems, and use their leadership skills to help others.
- Provide youth the tools they need to become effective communicators as they express themselves in ways that will result in positive outcomes, learning to respect the opinions of others who may not share the same views.
- Provide youth with a sense of belonging to an organization where they thrive educationally and find mastery in the subject areas they choose, make new friends, and develop lifelong problem-solving techniques.
- Provide high-quality volunteer leaders who inspire youth to soar past the goals they set for themselves.
Community Education and Trainings
4-H 101 Created by Purdue University and Kansas State University military extension specialists, this short webinar will explain the basics of starting a 4-H club. It will also help viewers understand how to register and proceed through the online lessons.
4-H Clubs engage young people, ages five through nineteen, develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, responsible, productive citizens, and contributing members of society. The 4-H program educates youth in arts and sciences, health and fitness, science, technology, environmental science, math, sewing and fashion design, healthy cooking and eating, and a host of other subject areas, while encouraging fellowship and service. 4-H continues to develop new projects for its members to study beyond agriculture and animal husbandry, including photography, conservation, cooking, public speaking, various sports, history, art, and other pursuits.
4-H Military Partnerships serve children of deployed parents by hosting special events and training sessions to mobilize a support network consisting of youth, parents, and educators. “Ready, Set, Go” training is offered to educate communities about the needs of military families in the deployment cycle. The program also distributes “Hero Packs,” Operation Military Kids-branded backpacks filled with items from partner agencies and local businesses, provided to military youth to communicate thanks for the sacrifices they make while their parents are deployed.
Volunteer Leaders Training
The 4-H Volunteer Leaders Training prepares adults to assist youth in managing 4-H clubs and activities. Learn how to support our youth in leadership and other opportunities to reach their full potential. Volunteers have been integral parts of the success of 4-H since the 1920s, serving as club and project leaders, camp counselors, and even as trainers and mentors. 4-H adult volunteers are able to make significant and positive contributions to youth development by sharing learned skills, making a difference in their lives and leaving a legacy. Download and email the completed application to Rebecca Bankhead.
UDC 4-H Soccer Program
Our UDC 4-H Soccer program includes healthy eating workshops presented by the Center for Nutrition Diet and Health. Youth in the program are physically active daily as they practice and master the skills involved in becoming effective athletes. They receive guidance and encouragement from their coaches, parents, and school professionals. College athletes also provide guidance by talking to the youth about the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol, and eating healthy food, to maintain optimal health to become great players. We have incorporated the Health Rocks curriculum in the program. Health Rocks is a program of the National 4-H Council that deters the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco through experiential exercises that engage youth and their peers positively.
Rebecca Bankhead, M.S.
Director, Center for 4-H and Youth Development
Yahya “Mustafaa” Madyun, M.S.
Assistant Director, Center for 4-H and Youth Development
Project Specialist, Center for 4-H and Youth Development
Program Associate for Leadership Development and Training, Center for 4-H and Youth Development