4-H Eco-Stewardship Program
The primary purpose of the 4-H Eco-Stewardship program is the development of critical life skills for at-risk and minority youth, engaging them in "Outdoor Classrooms" where they are presented with experiential learning opportunities related to the environment/natural resources surrounding their communities. Through this program, students develop high self-esteem, a sense of control in their lives and a deeper understanding of the relationship between healthy forests and healthy communities.
What are the results of your program?
While the youth in the program have built or restored many miles of trails, restored campgrounds, built or repaired structure in wilderness sites for the USFS and other agencies. the greatest accomplishment is the way it has affected the lives of the participants. Young men and women who had given up on themselves and got involved in highly risky behaviors have learned to take control of their futures and turned themselves around. Many of our participants have reported that this program taught them the skills needed to change their lives, going from actual or likely school drop-outs to finsishing high school and many have gone on to college and post secondary education.
What do you think the greatest accomplishment was of your project to date? What are you most proud of?
The program has won several local, state and national awards from its program partners. It has been named a 4-H Program of Distinction in Natural Resources Education, the first program to recieve this honor in Washington State.
It is the 2010 winner of the "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Connecting Youth with Nature through Natural Resources Conservation Education Award" and was honored to present the program at the National Conference in Milwaukee in March, 2010. The award carried a $10,000 stipend.
Please share memorable quotes/ testimonies/stories of those you serve to enhance the program description:
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS:
"I learned how to work in a group better. Before this program I didn't like to work as a group and now it helps me and it is easier to accomplish challenges."
"I enjoyed how this project made such a big difference in our school and how everyone came together to help put something so small together and how it became something big."
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL ANOTHER STUDENT AS A REASON TO SIGN UP FOR THIS PROGRAM?
"I would tell them to sign up because science looks dead when you read it, but when you experience it, it comes to life."
"I really did not want to do this program the first day, but as time went by I really enjoyed it. If I could do this program on my very own time I would."
"I just need to say that I really enjoyed being in the program. I wouldn't mind doing it again, and I hope that you won't change the way that it is because it makes people realize how important they are and I appreciate that a lot!"
Which E3 Goals does this program address?
Contact Name: Ray Faini or Kevin Powers
Organization: WSU Chelan County Extension
Role: County Director