The University of California 4-H Youth Development Program has a unique role in youth development. The dual mission of 4-H is to engage youth in reaching their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development. Each informs and supports the other.
- Practice: 4-H is consistent with scientifically valid research in youth development, education, child, human, and cognitive development. 4-H is able to demonstrate, or likely to demonstrate, through research and/or evaluative data, a positive impact on youth served.
- Research: 4-H is a contributor to research and/or the extension of knowledge in youth development.
County based academics known as 4-H Youth Development Advisors engage in various research and evaluation projects. Often they are supported by or collaborate with campus based faculty or specialists. These research and evaluation projects inform promising practice as well as contribute to the field of positive youth development and nonformal education.
We use our science base to anticipate problems and develop practical solutions in the communities we serve. By sharing our efforts with other professionals, we leverage additional resources and expand our impact.