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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Youth Teaching Youth

Youth Teaching Youth

Minnesota 4-H Youth Teaching Youth (YTY) is a cross-age teaching program offered by University of Minnesota Extension in Anoka, Dakota, Scott, and Washington counties. YTY involves teen teachers (high school students) who deliver educational curriculum to peers in elementary and middle schools 3–8 times during the school year.

Julia Deshler talking to kids

Photos: Craig Lassig for Pioneer Press

Julia Deshler, a 4-H member and high school junior from Cottage Grove, teaches fourth-graders about negative peer pressure, internet safety and the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use.

Curriculum descriptions

Character Counts I & II

Second and third grade students learn about the six pillars of good character (Trustworthiness, Respect, Caring, Responsibility, Fairness and Citizenship).

Building Up

Designed for youth in grades 3 and 4, Building Up focuses on defining feelings, sharing positive conflict resolution strategies and appreciating differences.

Alcohol and Tobacco Decisions

Fourth grade students learn about alcohol, peer pressure, tobacco, advertising and refusal skills.

Internet Safety

Fifth grade students learn about online communication and etiquette, internet safety and cyberbullying.

It's Your Choice

Sixth grade students learn about respect, acceptance and cliques, stress, peer pressure, bullying, alcohol, tobacco and relationships.


Seventh grade students learn about culture, diversity, power and privilege, hurt and prejudice and appreciating similarities and differences.

The research behind Youth Teaching Youth

Our partners

The Youth Teaching Youth program model includes a strong partnership between the local 4-H program (staff and youth), the school (students, teachers and administrators) and the community at large. View a list of our school district partners.

YTY in the media

Contact information

For general information, please contact:

Amber Shanahan, Extension educator,, 1-651-480-7712

For county-specific information, please contact a YTY program coordinator:

Anoka County

Layne Vermeulen,, 1-763-755-1280

Dakota County

Kirsten Pederson,, 1-651-480-7722
Rachel Rezac,, 1-651-480-7754

Scott County

Sara Wagner,, 1-952-492-5410

Washington County

Heather Cory,, 1-651-430-6805

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