4-H News: Volunteers reap benefits through program

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People of all ages can gain enormous satisfaction and other benefits by being a 4-H Youth Development volunteer in their communities.
Teenage volunteers usually are older 4-H members. Volunteering helps teens build confidence, improve communications abilities and develop life skills. Youth volunteers do better in school, learn about career options, and sometimes develop new career goals. Those involved in community service consistently show improvement in mathematics and reading scores.
Youth volunteers also better understand governance and the inner connection in their community. They help identify local problems and concerns and feel empowered to take action in partnership with others.
Teenagers have many opportunities to volunteer in the 4-H Youth Development program as a spokesperson, mentor to younger members, camp counselor, and board or committee member, among others.
Research has shown that youth who are involved in volunteer service during their teenage years are more than twice as likely to remain active as volunteers throughout their 20s and 30s. Therefore, if we want to encourage and foster a new generation of volunteers, we have a responsibility to “grow our own” by involving them in volunteerism and community service.
Adult volunteers and youth develop partnerships benefit one another as well as their families and communities.
Adult volunteers provide guidance and direction for club members and the local programs, develop and maintain community support, and work together with club officers, committees and other leaders to give overall direction to the local 4-H Youth Development program. These activities may include assisting 4-H members with their projects or working with school clubs.
Teen and adult volunteers often assist with special activities and events at both the local and state levels. These can include demonstrations, judging, public speaking and recreational events.
The Owen County 4-H Program is currently in need of volunteers to help with afterschool sewing on Monday and Tuesday evenings. If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer for sewing or any other 4-H activities, contact the Owen County Cooperative Extension Service at 502-484-5703.