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4-H Guiding Principles #7: Youth Grow and Contribute as Active Citizens

Michigan 4-H Youth Development uses the 4-H Guiding Principles to focus and drive the work we do with young people. We should consider them when we plan programs, prepare volunteers to work with young people, and interact with participants. While the 4-H Guiding Principles are specific to Michigan, they align with the National 4-H Essential Elements and with research in Positive Youth Development. They include:

• Youth develop positive relationships with adults and peers
• Youth are physically and emotionally safe
• Youth are actively engaged in their own development
• Youth are considered participants rather than recipients in the learning
• Youth develop skills that help them succeed
• Youth recognize, understand, and appreciate multiculturalism
• Youth grow and contribute as active citizens through service and leadership

This webinar series will focus on each 4-H Guiding Principle and how staff can learn to intentionally integrate them into programming and better prepare volunteers to utilize these practices with young people. A certificate of completion will be offered for those who view all seven webinars in the series. There is no cost to participate in these webinars.

For more information, please email Frank Cox and or Molly Frendo at

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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