Location: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Annual MSU pre-college program that attracts approximately 2500 youth participants and chaperones representing all 83 Michigan counties.
Citizenship, Leadership, & Service
Change the world. Change your community.
You’ve heard the expression “think globally, act locally.” Michigan 4-H couldn’t agree more. Discover the many ways to get involved in your community and act locally through our educational activities, fun conferences and events that help develop leadership and citizenship skills. Young people (5 to 19 years old) are invited to join 4-H and gain the knowledge, skills and practical application needed to be participatory members of our democracy, learn job skills and have fun. Programs and 4-H Clubs are done through a cadre of trained volunteers and staff who work with young people on dynamic and meaningful educational programs.
Through citizenship, leadership and community service learning activities, young people learn how their actions (such as voting, participating in community service activities, writing letters to their legislators and taking action on an issue important to them) can help them understand how to make a difference. In the process, they learn life skills, understand themselves, learn to learn, communicate better, make positive decisions and learn to get along and work well with youth and adults.
Michigan 4-H is proud to be a leader in citizenship, leadership & service!
Through the following goals, young people experience citizenship, leadership and service in the context of positive community youth development. 4-H citizenship, leadership and community service learning programs:
- Meet the needs of youth by developing fun and relevant experiences designed by youth and adults.
- Use a variety of research-based learning processes and resources to engage youth in a variety of hands-on activities.
- Involve youth and adults as partners existing at all levels of program design, implementation and evaluation and through shared knowledge and activities have reciprocal leading, teaching and mentoring roles.
- Recognize the value of volunteer and professional staff and support them through a well-coordinated system of professional development opportunities.
- Communicate the outcomes of programs to local communities, legislators and other stakeholders.
- Seek out charitable grants and public funding to support citizenship, leadership and service programming in 4-H.
Leadership skills can be learned and developed through the many opportunities 4-H has to offer. 4-H’ers learn about leadership and practice those skills through activities such as taking part in 4-H club meetings, presenting information at various events, designing and implementing activities for younger youth and carrying out community service projects as individuals or with a group. 4-H teaches youth the life skills necessary to effectively lead others. These important life skills will be used in jobs, in careers, in service clubs, in communities and in daily activities as an adult.
By taking part in 4-H, young people can acquire the leadership life skills they need to take responsibility for their actions and to work with others in achieving individual and group goals. In a 4-H leadership project, youth gain experience in understanding themselves, communicating, getting along with other, learning to learn, making decisions and managing and working with group.
The 4-H Teen Leadership Project
An excellent way for 4-H’ers to discover what makes a leader successful is to become involved with a 4-H teen leadership project. 4-H teen leaders doing a 4-H teen leadership project can choose to take on a leadership role defined by themselves and their chosen adult advisor, which involves more responsibility, time and work. 4-H teen leaders who have been involved in developing their leadership skills for some time can expand their experience by taking on a specific project. The 4-H teen leadership project allows teens to actively participate in project planning, become involved in leadership tasks, and help younger 4-H members learn by example. 4-H teen leaders who are involved in a 4-H teen leadership project have different requirements and complete the 4-H Teen Leadership Project Guide, which allows teens to discuss and reflect upon their project plan and project goals. 4-H offers opportunities for 4-H teens to become leaders by practicing the skills they are learning. See the 4-H Teen Leadership publication to learn more.
For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:
Jackie Martin, Leadership and Civic Engagement Work Group Co-Chair
Brian Wibby, Leadership and Civic Engagement Work Group Co-Chair
- 4-H Citizenship, Leadership & Service Program Funding Brochure
- 4-H Citizenship: Government Is Us! A Civic Engagement Curriculum for Youth Groups
- 4-H Service Log
- 4-H Teen Leader Bookmarks
- 4-H Teen Leader Training Presentation
- 4-H Teen Leadership
- 50 Reasons to Get Involved With Citizenship, Leadership & Service Activities Bookmark
- 50 Things You Can Do to Be Involved With Citizenship Bookmark
- A Guide to 4-H Youth County Exchange Programs
- A.P.P.L.E.S. to Successful Projects Bookmark
- Basic Parliamentary Procedure for 4-H Clubs
- Character Development & Education Bibliography
- Citizenship Is Part of Character
- Communications Toolkit: Fun, Skill-Building Activities to Do With Kids (4H1560)
- Community Service Organizations
- Community Service Research & References List
- Group Dynamite Notebook (Selections; 4H1068)
- Helping You Help Officers & Committees (4H1467)
- Leadership & Civic Engagement Workgroup Flyer
- Member’s Personal 4-H Record Book (4H1192)
- Michigan 4-H Safety Belt Program Toolkit
- Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Fast Facts
- Partner with Youth to Make a Difference in Communities!
- Peer Helping Organizations
- Planning Your Community Service Project: Based on a Community Service-Learning Model
- Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program
- Service and Cloverbuds – A Great Fit
- Step Up to Leadership Curriculum
- Tips & Tools for Planning Your Club Year (Annual Club Calendar)
- YEA! Youth Experiencing Action! A Community Service-Learning Guide (4H1553)