High school activities lead to future success

Teens who are engaged in activities for two or more years are more likely to be college graduates and community engaged eight years later.

Michigan high school students are joining clubs, playing fall sports and balancing activities with school work. Parents sometimes worry about teens being too busy with too many school and community activities. By checking a high school yearbook or website, you can see that there are options for every interest. From high school sports, drama, band and clubs to being civically engaged, in tutoring groups and in environment clubs, the opportunities are endless. Additionally, community-based programs such as Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H Youth Clubs and FFA Chapters.

A study published in 2008 highlighted that young people who join and are active in community or school-based clubs and activities for twp years were more successful as young adults. Looking ahead eight years, it discovered that teens who had participated in organized activities were more likely to be employed, college graduates and active in their communities. Actively participating as a high school student for two or more years with a group or club can have an impact on their future choices.

The Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a decade-long study of more than 7,000 teens from across 44 states. A recent report from the study showed that young people in 4-H have higher academic scores. They are more likely to attend college and are more likely to be interested in science, technology, enginerring and mathematics (STEM) careers. Plus, girls who have been in 4-H are more likely to be interested in STEM experiences. Across Michigan teens can participate in STEM 4-H experiences from robotics to plants and crops to water quality to animal science to electronics.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development reported too that 4-H Youth are 3.4 more times committed to helping their communities than youth who do not participate in 4-H.

High school activities, 4-H Youth Clubs and sports can and do provide opportunities for leadership, team building  and the chance to try-out interests which may impact their career choices. These are chances for teens to gain self-confidence and skills which will help them meet future challenges.

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