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 them 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 the world.

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, mastery of skills, independence and generosity and gain in depth knowledge and skills. The club membership is open to all youth ages 8-18 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 innovations that they lead and learn from.
  • Provide a variety of life skills through directed programming that helps young people develop competencies, and strengthen their abilities to make intelligent decisions, solve problems, and use their leadership skills to help others.
  • Provide youth with the tool they need to become effective communicators as they express themselves in a manner that will result in positive outcomes and learn to respect the opinions of other that may not share their 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 friend, and develop lifelong problem solving techniques.
  • To provide high quality volunteer leaders training that prepares adults to be effective, confident and supportive leaders that inspire youth to soar past the goals they set for themselves.

NIFA and Student Learning Goals Matrix

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 engages 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, cooking healthy eating and a host of other subject areas while encouraging fellowship and service opportunities. 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 Living Interactive Family Education (4-H LIFE) is a youth development program that addresses the needs of children with incarcerated parents. The goal of the 4-H LIFE program is to provide a strong, healthy, and nurturing family environment while helping the incarcerated parents become positive role models. The program consists of three components, including parenting skills classes, monthly planning meetings, and family club meetings.
Common Measures: 4-H National Headquarters and National 4-H Council led a process to develop a 4-H logic model as well as common outcomes and measures for 4-H programming. Two meetings and pilot-testing led to a finalized a version of the national 4-H logic model and a set of common outcomes and indicators for science, healthy living, citizenship, and overarching youth development work. Click here for more information.
4-H International Network was launched to connect 4-Hers from around the world. Youth from US meet with 4-H Club members from other countries via Skype to compare environmental challenges in their communities and share potential solutions.
Liberia | Argentina | USA
4-H STEM consists of specialized programs designed to introduce and encourage participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines among youth in the District of Columbia. The program is supported by the Alteria Foundation through the National 4-H Council and works collaboratively with UDC’s STEM Center.
4-H Summer Camp   is a hands-on learning projects designed for enrichment during the summer months. Located on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia, the camp includes opportunities for youth to explore new learning projects, develop new friendships, practice healthy eating and exercise, and have plenty of fun
4-H Military Partnerships serves 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 a variety of items from partner agencies and local businesses, provided to military youth as a way of communicating thanks for the sacrifices that they make while their parents are deployed. Click here for more information.
The Health Rocks Program is a healthy living program that strives to reduce tobacco, alcohol and drug use among youth in the District of Columbia and to develop life skills that lead to healthy lifestyle choices. It is our goal to engage youth and adults in a partnership to develop and implement community strategies that help youth understand influences and health consequences of tobacco, alcohol and drug use. It is an interactive program that is adaptable to multiple teaching situations, uses interactive hands on learning and meets National Health Education Standards.
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 learning about leadership and opportunities that help them to meet their full potential. Volunteers have been an integral part 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 have the unique opportunity to make a significant and positive contribution 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

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, 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 into 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 positively and involves them in building strategies for prevention of chemical use for themselves and their peers.

Staff Contact

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

Diego Lahaye
Project Specialist, Center for 4-H and Youth Development

Olivia Harp
Program Associate for Leadership Development and Training, Center for 4-H and Youth Development


UDC 4-H Soccer Program Report
Important Forms
5 Steps to Start a Club
Basics (Teaching and Training) for New Leaders
4-H Factsheet – Bullying is a Big Deal
4-H Factsheet – I still Need Time for Me (Parent Resource)
4-H Factsheet – Involving Parents in 4-H
4-H Factsheet – Parental Involvement in School
4-H Factsheet – School Stress
4-H Factsheet Value of Clubs
4-H Factsheet – Turn Off the TV
4-H Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success – Skills to pay the Bills 
Naming Your 4-H Club

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