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Missouri 4-H: Preparing for the future

MU Extension lays the foundation for workforce development with prepared, engaged youths.

Nov. 3, 2020

Missouri 4-H has always focused on preparing youths for responsible and effective citizenship, leadership and career readiness. For 2020-21, that goal will be even more direct with all University of Missouri Extension 4-H faculty devoting 20% of their time with local youths for college preparation and career readiness. Faculty will share postsecondary opportunities — including trade schools, community colleges and four-year colleges — with eighth graders, helping them prepare early for education after high school.

“We know that educational access and excellence is one of Missouri’s grand challenges and a focus of MU Extension and Engagement work around the state,” said Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement and UM System chief engagement officer. “Today’s children are the workforce leaders and innovators of tomorrow, and Missouri 4-H is leading the way in preparing them to thrive and succeed.”

A statewide committee with 4-H youth development specialists from each of MU Extension’s eight regions will develop resources tailored to meet local needs.

“Everything we do in 4-H helps our youth prepare for future success,” said Donna Garcia, MU Extension state 4-H college and career readiness specialist. “We must become even more intentional and targeted in the way we share this message to help Missouri’s youth and their families understand and access the educational and career opportunities that are available to them.”

Whether a child is interested in cake decorating or dog grooming, raising chickens or designing robots, 4-H wants them to understand how early interests can evolve into rewarding lifelong careers, Garcia said.

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