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About Urban 4-H

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Minnesota Urban 4-H Youth Development is a part of the Center for Youth Development and University of Minnesota Extension. As part of Minnesota 4-H, Urban 4-H serves youth living in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and communities in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Youth can participate through clubs and after-school programs.

Urban 4-H programs are based on research findings and best practices for urban youth and young people living in at-risk conditions. We partner with other youth-serving organizations to build sustainable programs that meet the unique needs of urban youth. Our partners receive access to University of Minnesota resources such as volunteers, curricula, program assessment and support, professional development and the possibility of 4-H Foundation funding.

Signature Curricula

Urban Youth Learn

Urban Youth Learn is a partnership between Minnesota Urban 4-H Youth Development and other youth-serving organizations that builds sustainable programs that meet the unique needs of urban youth. Urban Youth Learn is designed to help volunteers and program leaders create, strengthen, and advance youth programs that occur during nonschool hours.

Partners in Urban Youth Learn receive

  • A fall event designed to explore a partnership and create an energetic start to the program
  • Access to University of Minnesota resources such as the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, Minnesota 4-H Youth Development program, and research-based curriculum
  • Access to interns and volunteers to support program development and delivery
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Program leader's guide that includes tools, strategies, and information about multiple aspects of program development
  • Year-long program support designed to build and maintain program quality
  • Annual evaluation that assesses the program's impact on youth learning

Current Partners:

See map for current Urban Youth Learn program locations and partnerships.

For program information and questions:

Jessica Pierson Russo
Phone: 612-624-7625
pier0239@umn.edu

Urban Youth Learn was selected by peer review through the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents to be featured in the Directory of Successful Urban 4-H Program Models

Urban Youth Lead

Through Urban Youth Lead, Urban 4-H partners with schools, agencies, organizations, and volunteers to build sustainable leadership programs that meet the unique needs of urban youth. Urban Youth Lead is a leadership development program designed to expose young people to the worlds of higher education and careers by using an innovative youth development approach. Influenced by educational philosopher Paulo Freire, this approach allows youth to build awareness and leadership skills so that ultimately, they discover how they are the authors of their own lives.

Partners in Urban Youth Lead Receive

  • A fall event designed to explore a partnership and create an energetic start to the program
  • Access to University of Minnesota resources such as the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, Minnesota 4-H Youth Development program, and research-based curriculum
  • Access to interns and volunteers to support program development and delivery
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Research-based guide that provides a framework and curriculum to help program leaders build an intentional learning environment that facilitates youth leadership development
  • Year-long program support designed to build and maintain program quality
  • Annual evaluation that assesses the program's impact on youth leadership

Audience

Although Urban Youth Lead was originally created with adolescents in mind, it is up to the youth and the program leaders they work with to decide how they want to apply Urban Youth Lead.

Partners

See map for a list of our current programs and partners.

For program information and questions:

Erica Gates
Phone: 612-624-7603
gates015@umn.edu

Jessica Pierson Russo
Phone: 612-624-7625
pier0239@umn.edu

In May 2006, Minnesota Urban 4-H Youth Development was nationally recognized by the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) in Washington, DC as a promising youth development practice.

WeConnect

WeConnect is a program model and curriculum designed to show youth that they are participants of a global society, inspiring a sense of understanding and confidence in relating and connecting to other people. WeConnect prepares youth to thrive in culturally diverse settings—whether these settings are part of their school day, home life, social life, or workplace—by giving them the opportunity to learn and use culturally responsive skills and knowledge. These skills are based on an international education approach, which is one specific form of cultural education that helps learners understand their reactions to unfamiliar viewpoints, contexts, and situations.

The program model is designed for nonformal education settings like afterschool programs or clubs. The curriculum includes a coordinated series of experiential and interactive exercises organized into four phases of building cultural knowledge and skills:

Phase 1: Exploring
Phase 2: Stretching
Phase 3: Challenging
Phase 4: Connecting

Audience

The lessons in WeConnect were developed with middle-school-aged youth (grades 6-8 and ages approximately 11-14) in mind, but can be adapted to suit both younger or older age groups. The WeConnect program model was designed for youth-serving organizations and schools that are interested in incorporating cultural education. 

Partners

See map for a list of our current programs and partners.

For program information and questions:

Jessica Pierson Russo
Phone: 612-624-7625
pier0239@umn.edu



Contact us:

University of Minnesota Extension
Center for Youth Development
Urban Youth Development Office
90 Coffey Hall
1420 Eckles Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108-6116
1-612-624-7626
urbanyd@umn.edu

 

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