- 2/8 Joe Rand helps rural LGBT youth to find each other - and themselves
Joe Rand is an Extension Educator in central Minnesota. He uses a portion of his work time to improve conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth living in rural areas. In urban areas, LGBT+ youth have greater access to resources and can meet each other and find programs in which they feel comfortable. In rural areas, those safe spaces are harder to find, which can affect their development and their mental well being.
How is life different for rural LGBT+ youth versus those who live in urban areas?In rural areas there just aren't a lot of resources, even less than in urban areas. There is a lack of access to role models or safe spaces where youth can ask questions and develop relationships with other people who are like them.
- 2/1 Teenagers: Your self-confidence is key!
The teenage years are full of challenges.
Although my own teen years are decades passed, I'll never forget them. I grew and learned a great deal about myself, my family, my community and my values as a teenager in Virginia. I also struggled with peer pressure, making and keeping good friends and feeling power to change what I felt was wrong. I imagine you have some similar struggles.
Research indicates that young people with strong or growing self-confidence are better able to manage the difficulties of teenage life.
How do you build self-confidence?Self-confidence doesn't come without effort. Even if you have a natural inclination to believe in yourself, you will encounter challenges that stir up doubt. If you want to build your own self-confidence, here are a few ideas:
- 1/25 Carrie Ann Olson works at the crux of healthy living and good decision making
For more than 25 years, Carrie Ann Olson has been working at the crux of healthy living and good decision making.
Extension educator Carrie Ann OlsonIn order to live more healthfully, people need to make good choices, based on good information about nutrition and health. "Nobody wants to put junk into their body once they understand what they're eating," Carrie said.Carrie's philosophy is that healthy living is fun. She has designed cook-offs and other challenge events that challenge youth to think about what they're cooking. "We don't tell kids 'You're going to make this.' We leave it open ended because they learn more when their interests lead,' she said.The causes of obesity and poor health do not lie in the food itself, Carrie says, but rather in the way many people approach it. "Food gets a bad rap. People say we're eating too much or we're getting too serious, but it's really simple to throw good ingredients together and eat well instead of being exhausted at the end of the day and making bad choices."
- 1/18 Becky Meyer loves getting young people outside exploring scienceFeeling stressed? Head outside for a five-minute walk. Research (and your grandpa) will tell you - you'll feel a bit better afterward.
The restorative benefits of being outdoors are well-documented. And it's not just your emotional health that improves from time outside; you can also contribute to the environmental health of your community.
Extension educator Becky MeyerBecky Meyer is an Extension educator with expertise in environment and science education. She believes that young people learn best when immersed in the content. In other words, if you want to study nature, go outside.Case in point: Last summer Becky, together with 4-H program coordinator Tracey Anderson and partners from Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), ran a summer camp to connect young people to their natural environment. Over the course of six weeks, youth in two sites got outside and investigated a shared research question: Are there any invasive species in our lakes?
- 1/11 Youth make healthy choices through gardening in Willmar, MinnesotaThe kids of Kandiyohi County started to DIG this summer. With the help of 4-H summer intern, Ashley Warren, 15 youth, ages four to 12, got their hands dirty in a garden to table experience that changed the way they look "yucky vegetables."
Their learning started by building an above-ground garden at the Sunwood Apartment complex in Willmar, Minnesota. They filled large water tubs with recycled pop cans for easy drainage and added fresh soil that was donated by the city. Then the kids planted all types of vegetables from carrots to peppers, radishes and herbs.
Ashley with youth participants at the gardens.
DIG (dirt, insects, and gardening) lessons, led by Ashley, were incorporated into each meeting with the youth gardeners, helping them learn more about what goes into the food they eat and how food is grown.
Minnesota 4-H in the media
- Anoka County 4-H program coordinator recognized with distinguished service award | ABC Newspapers | hometownsource.com
- Annual 4-H event allows local youth to do their Christmas shopping on their own | southernminn.com
- A turkey tale, from 4-H to DC | University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- 4-H Club of the Year announced at annual Kiwanis banquet | Republican Eagle
- A turkey trot to the White House | Echo Press
Center for Youth Development in the media
- Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge: Infusing Agricultural Science and Engineering Concepts into 4-H Youth Development | Rice, J, Rugg, B, Davis, S | Journal of Extension
- Focus on Methodology: Beyond paper and pencil: Conducting computer-assisted data collection with adolescents in group settings
- Dilemmas in Youth Work and Youth Development Practice - Laurie Ross, Shane Capra, Lindsay Carpenter, Julia Hubbell, Kathrin Walker - Google Books
- Citizen Science as a REAL Environment for Authentic Scientific Inquiry | Nathan Meyer, Siri Scott, Pamela Nippolt, et al |
- A Call to Embrace Program Innovation | Nathan Meyer, Sherry Boyce, Rebecca Meyer | Journal of Extension
- 1/18 Becky Meyer loves getting young people outside exploring science