Many of us are familiar with 4-H in the Canadian agricultural space, and the learn to do by doing pledge. But what REALLY is it? What does the not for profit organization do that makes them special?
Liz Jarvis, of 4-H Canada, says what stands out about the program is that it truly is a youth leadership program.
“It’s not about looking at youth, and figuring out what they need, it’s about looking at them with partnership and recognizing that they are already leaders in their own right,” Jarvis explains. “They have a lot to say and can direct us as adults in terms of what’s important to them and what they want to focus on, and that they are looking to be leaders long term.”
One of the main goals of 4-H Canada is for them to look at how they can empower the youth to become leaders, and the contributing members of society they want to be, while giving them a seat at the table for really important discussions.
“A recent example is some of our mental health initiatives. We had rural youth coming to us and saying ‘look, this is a concern to the agriculture sector, this is a concern to farmers, but we’re also really struggling. We would like 4H to help us. So we put together a suite of mental health resources, and a partnership with Kids Help Phone, and we continue to work very closely with them,” Jarvis explains. “That was youth directed. We listened to them, and they told us what’s important to their generation.”
Want to hear more? Listen to Jarvis’ full discussion on the t0pic during this Q&A!