Volunteering and Mentoring

Supporting the thousands of Michigan 4-H youth across the state are more than 20,000 caring adult volunteers who give their time to the program annually. In fact, without volunteers, 4-H wouldn’t be possible!

All 4-H volunteers are screened to ensure the safety of the children and youth (adults, too!) who are involved in our programming. After they’re screened, these caring individuals are trained by knowledgeable MSU Extension professionals and supported through a variety of MSU Extension resources. These resources include workshops, curriculum, activities and more, all of which enable and prepare volunteers to make an impact on youth across the state.

A unique sector of Michigan 4-H’s dedicated volunteer pool are the caring adult mentors. Research shows that youth benefit from supportive and caring relationships with older individuals who serve as a guide and role model. While many youth find these relationships naturally through their involvement in school, family and the community, others do not. To fill this need, MSU Extension has been creating supportive, long-term mentoring relationships for more than 20 years. Mentoring programs available through Michigan 4-H including community-based, site-based, adult-youth, peer and small group mentoring, all of which adhere to youth mentoring quality program standards and best practices.

Whether you want to mentor, become a club leader, lead a workshop, chaperone an event or something else, invest in the future of Michigan as a 4-H volunteer. By giving your time to help answer the little questions of young people in your community, you’ll help them achieve big dreams and prepare for a lifetime of success.

For more information about volunteering with the 4-H program, visit the volunteers or mentoring page on the Michigan 4-H website.

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  • What should I get my mentee for Christmas?

    December 12, 2014 | Lisa Bottomley | Do you want to do something nice to celebrate the holidays with your mentee without breaking the bank or crossing a boundary? These ideas can help.

  • STEM for the holidays

    December 12, 2014 | Scott Lakin | As the holiday season approaches, jazz up your end-of-year holiday parties with STEM-themed activities.

  • Puzzle play

    December 5, 2014 | Monica Thompson | Puzzle play builds an early foundation for math and science skills. Spatial reasoning skills and the ability to mentally rotate shapes are essential in subjects such as math, science, and engineering.

  • Has a child asked you where money comes from?

    December 3, 2014 | Beverly Przystas | Youth in grades 3-5 may begin to start thinking of money management and ask, “Where does money come from?” Learn about resources that can help answer that, and other questions.

  • HOT TOPICSnow day fun: When the weather outside is frightful, make your child’s day delightful!

    December 2, 2014 | Kylie Rymanowicz | Stuck inside this winter? Check out these tips for keeping your kids engaged and entertained when the weather keeps you inside.

  • That wasn’t the plan!

    November 24, 2014 | Scott Lakin | Making the most of changes in plans by turning them into even more successful learning lessons.

  • It’s OK to be wrong!

    November 21, 2014 | Scott Lakin | Youth development programs should support youth in creating and learning from mistakes, taking risks and even spelling words wrong!

  • Engaging at-risk youth in youth development programs - Part 2

    November 20, 2014 | Dave Radloff | Taking the five Ps of positive youth development into consideration can strengthen your community youth development strategy.

  • Hunt for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly

    November 20, 2014 | Brandon Schroeder | Both in and out of school, Alcona youth partner in an innovative citizen science effort to track habitats of the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald dragonfly and the invasive species that threaten them.

  • Exploring active learning: Why should it be used and how do you use it? (Part 2)

    November 14, 2014 | Jodi Schulz | In this second article of the series, learn more about active learning, the benefits of it, how to incorporate these techniques, and how to uncover and identify resources for these learning methods.

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