Scholar

Diversifying the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

By: Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty   Steven Worker   John Borba   Lupita Fabregas   Russell Hill   Mary Bonaparte Saller   Claudia Diaz Carrasco  

The University of California Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development programs are at the cutting edge of positive youth development knowledge and practice. The 4-H program has a proven record of developing youth. 4-H members make contributions to their communities, are civically active, participate in science programs, make healthy choices, increase their opportunities to attend college, and contribute to improving youth and family quality of life (Lerner, Lerner et al., 2016). In 2015, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) understood and accepted the challenge of examining how the 4-H Youth Development Program could better serve diverse audiences by investing $2,000,000 over a period of three years to pilot an intentionally focused effort to develop culturally relevant and responsive programs to welcome Latino youth, families, and volunteers to 4-H. Seven counties (Kern, Merced, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma) were selected representing rural, suburban, and urban communities and because they were either a 2013 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) review site or had ongoing successful efforts reaching Latino youth. The UC ANR 4-H Latino Initiative is aligned with the UC ANR Strategic Vision 2025 in providing for healthy families and communities, the Healthy Families & Communities Strategic Plan, the UC ANR 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, particularly with increasing the reach of UC ANR (Goal 2), and the UC ANR public values of ensuring safe and healthy California for all people and communities and contributing to reduced racial and ethnic inequality. This paper reviews the project and its impacts.

Latinos Youth Development
Organizational Diversity
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty

I work as a county-based faculty member for the University of California Cooperative Extension and serve the geographic region of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties with youth development programming. I work with the statewide diversity workgroup to address increasing youth diversity in programming. My scope of work is focused on developing multidisciplinary and integrated approaches to addressing California’s and the Nation’s decline in youth science performance and achievement. This is accomplished by conducting applied research, education and programs with non formal educators utilizing effective professional development models, curricula, and deliveries, to engage youth in self-directed learning and discovery. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point with a BS degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Outdoor Education in 1987, and obtained my MS degree in Outdoor Education in 1991 from Northern Illinois University.


Steven Worker

Youth Development Advisor, University of California, United States
United States



John Borba

Youth Development Advisor, University of California, United States
United States



Lupita Fabregas

Youth Development Advisor for Diversity, University of California, United States
United States



Russell Hill

Youth Development Advisor, University of California, United States
CA, United States



Mary Bonaparte Saller

Youth Development Advisor, University of California, United States
United States



Claudia Diaz Carrasco

Youth Development Advisor, University of California, United States
United States