4-H youth leadership roles and assessing leadership experiences
Statements to assess youth leadership trainings and activities.
There are many ways youth experientially develop leadership skills in 4-H Youth Development programs. 4-H provides a safe environment for youth to “try-on” their leadership skills in various roles such as officers, committee chairs and members, program developers, event planners, counselors, advisors, mentors and in other roles they select during their 4-H career. 4-H participants work with the adult volunteers and their peers to complete these roles in 4-H activities at various levels of 4-H including local, state, national and international programs.
In Michigan 4-H, events are limitless. From 4-H club officer positions to interacting with state and national legislators, 4-H participants learn leadership skills and practice these skills in many settings. Assessing youth leadership skills can be difficult because there are so many skills involved in leadership. The following statements are used to assess Michigan 4-H youth leadership trainings and activities. Youth participants are given the evaluation after the activity and asked to answer the questions based on their pre-activity knowledge and also based on their post-activity knowledge. For some activities, participants have the opportunity to answer open-ended questions to obtain specific evaluative information.
“Because of the training I received:”
- I have communication skills to address conflict effectively.
- I can resolve differences with others in positive ways.
- I am willing to consider ideas of others even if they are different than mine.
- I can make a difference in my community.
- I plan to work on projects to better my community.
- I have skills to help me serve my community.
- I have confidence to speak in front of groups.
- I repeat what someone has said back to them to make sure I understand them.
- I understand the importance of non-verbal communication.
- I am comfortable sharing my thoughts and feeling with others.
- I can run a meeting.
- I can stand up for things that are important to me.
- I can apply knowledge in ways that solve problems.
- I understand that other ideas are just as important as my own.
- I know how to set goals and use them when leading a group.
- I think it is important to listen to all group members before making a decision.
- I recognize the importance of different viewpoints when making decisions.
- I can change my plan when I need to.
- I help make sure everyone gets an opportunity to say what they think.
- I can help people creatively identify options for changes.
- I can help people come to a decision as a group.
Through experiential leadership activities in a safe environment such as 4-H, youth build many skills and have many opportunities to practice them. Visit Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Leadership and Citizenship website for more information.