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Our Impact in Communities

4-H’s learning opportunities are intentionally designed around four essential concepts necessary for positive youth development: a sense of belonging with a positive group, independence and self-determination, a spirit of generosity toward others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges. The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences encourages youth to experiment, innovate, and think independently. 4-H grows confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities. Their stories inspire us to do more, give more, and help more. 

What Can We say About 4-H Members?

  • 4-H club members practice civic engagement skills at club meetings, such as making motions, voting, working in committees, and following parliamentary procedures. These skills assist them in other community and school groups, such as student council, and prepare them for future leadership roles in their community.
  • Illinois 4-H members are prepared for their future by studying careers related to their 4-H project.
  • Illinois 4-H improves youth’s life skills, such as communicating, decision making, and goal setting.
  • Illinois 4-H members do hands-on activities which lead to discovery and knowledge.
  • Illinois 4-H members steward the agricultural resources which feed the world.
  • 4-H is building generations of empowered, skilled, and confident youth leaders.
  • Illinois 4-H members know that every action made by humans impacts the world around them. Through the study of our environment, youth learn how humans and nature are connected and develop a respect and appreciation for nature.
  • Illinois 4-H is empowering youth to be the inventors and engineers we need.
  • 4-H provides opportunities for youth to engage with people from different backgrounds and varied life experiences. This exposure helps 4-H members develop understanding to build closer communities across the world. 

Our Reach in Illinois 

  • Nearly 200,000 youth affiliations were formed through Illinois 4-H programs and clubs this year.
  • More than 24,400 young people belong to Illinois 4-H clubs of sustained learning experiences.
  • More than 11,000 Illinois 4-H adult volunteers create learning laboratories that allow young people to practice real-world skills they need today and in the future.
  • Illinois 4-H is striving to be representative of the youth across Illinois communities
    • 19% of Illinois 4-H participants identify as minority.
    • 12% of Illinois 4-H participants identify as Hispanic.
    • 4-H participation has increased 28% since 2013.
    • 4-H club affiliations have increased 27% since 2013.
    • 4-H minority club membership is up 59% since 2013.
    • 4-H African American club membership is up 64% since 2013.
    • 4-H Hispanic participation is up 44% since 2013.
    • 4-H Hispanic club membership is up 171% since 2013.
  • Illinois 4-H issue-based programs reach youth across Illinois in all types of communities.
    • 48% of participants live on farms and rural towns under 10,000 population
    • 20% of all participants live in towns of 10,000 to 50,000 population
    • 31% of all participants live in suburbs and cities over 50,000 population