MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 25, 2013

Lifetime of service may begin here

The annual Youth in Action Conference for Northeast Oklahoma 4-H Club members is designed to teach participants to be good leaders and to work together as a team.

We hope it accomplishes even more.

The conference was clearly a positive experience for the young people.

Their participation is also a strong positive for these kids’ communities.

Youth organizations such as 4-H are without a doubt helpful to young people.

The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, a longitudinal study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, also shows that youth involved with 4-H are 41 percent less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and 25 percent more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities.

These are impressive statistics.

Young people see adult volunteers in these organizations giving of their time and energy, providing good role models.

Doing something that requires giving of yourself provides a powerful personal reward that must be experienced to be understood. Young people taking leadership roles in such organizations can experience that reward.

We hope these experiences lead to a life of service for these young people.

Many community organizations are struggling to replenish the ranks. These kids could later step into these adult service roles.

From the figures found in study, it appears that those in 4-H will.

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