Important Alert!

Starting in 2019, Nebraska 4-H will no longer be accepting Career Porfolios for state-level consideration. Only Achievement Applications will be accepted for youth applying to attend National 4-H Congress or National 4-H Conference or applying for Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarships. Counties may continue to accept Career Portfolio for county-only awards. Please contact your local Extension office for more information.

The Nebraska 4-H Career Portfolio is an annual record-keeping system used by Nebraska 4-H youth. It is a composite of all 4-H and non-4-H projects/activities throughout the individual's 4-H career. While Nebraska 4-H does not accept Career Portfolios for state-level award and recognition consideration, some counties may use Career Portfolios for county-level awards. If so, counties will set their own limitations, incentives, and deadlines. Please contact your local Extension office for more information.

Content & Organization Guidelines

The information and resources provided below are suggestions for counties that choose to use Career Portfolios for county-level awards. However, please note that counties may implement their own rules regarding content and organization. Please contact your county Extension office for more information.


  • The 4-H Career Portfolio should be placed in an ACCO folder to facilitate handling and judging.
  • Margin and font guidelines should not be changed in the 4-H Career Portfolio.
  • None of the pages in the 4-H Career Portfolio should be placed in plastic sleeves.
  • Each 4-H Career Portfolio should have an Application and Curriculum Form related to the specific Portfolio. A 4-H'er can submit two Portfolios in different curriculum areas. The 4-H member must indicate which curriculum area is their first and second choice on the Application and Curriculum Form.
  • If a 4-H'er submits two record book each book must contain a 4-H story and supporting material related to the curriculum area that Portfolio is applying in.
  • Project Record Books should not be included in the 4-H Career Portfolio.
  • 4-H'ers can use preprinted tab pages or they can print the tab pages with their computer and add a plastic tab to the bottom of the printed tab pages.
  • The back of the tab pages contain instructions and examples for each Portfolio section.
  • Signature pages should be completed in all 4-H Career Portfolios.

Contents & Organization

The following materials are required in the 4-H Career Portfolio and should be assembled in the order listed. A separate book must be submitted for each application.

  1. Cover
    • Use a standard Acco-type fastener binder for paper size 8.5 x 11 inches. Do not use loose-leaf ring binder.
  2. Pre-printed tab dividers
  3. Application and Curriculum Forms
    • Download Application and Curriculum Forms 
  4. 4-H Career Portfolio (Sections 1-3)
    • Download Section 1: Project Accomplishments
    • Download Section 2: 4-H Leadership, Community Services, Volunteer, Citizenship & Educational Experiences
    • Download Section 3: Non 4-H Experiences 
    • A composite of all 4-H and non 4-H projects/activities through the individuals 4-H career.
    • The 4-H Career Portfolio has been designed for use with Microsoft Word and Open Office. It is not required to be typed.
    • Additional pages may be added to the form as indicated.
    • The 4-H Career Portfolio information should be printed using True Type Font, Time New Roman, 12 point and in Landscape format.
  5. 4-H Curriculum Story (Section 4)
    • Download Section 4: Curriculum Story
    • Maximum of 6 pages on one side, double-spaced with 1.5 inches top margin and 1-inch side and bottom margins, True Type font, Time News Roman, 12 point font printed in the Landscape format.
    • Suggested story format: (the following outline may help in the development of your story; however, do not identify these parts in your story.)
      1. Part 1 - Introduction: Introduce yourself, you may wish to include information about your family and personal interest. Include when and why you joined 4-H, etc. You may want to tell why 4-H is important to you.
      2. Part 2 - Describe Your Growth in Your Curriculum Area: Relate some of the experiences and activities while you were completing your 4-H project(s). Share how 4-H and your project(s) helped you learn new knowledge and skills. You may want to include ideas you tried that were successful or unsuccessful.
      3. Part 3 - Other 4-H Projects and Experiences: Share highlights of other 4-H project, activities, or experiences not mentioned in Part 2 (see above), include any major learning experiences, items of special interest, and/or unusual situation you encountered.
      4. Part 4 - Leadership/Community Service related to Your Curriculum Area: Explain how 4-H has helped you become a better leader and citizen. How has 4-H increased your interest and participation in community affairs, and what you have learned from team efforts?
      5. Part 5 - Conclusion: Summarize the impact of 4-H on you. Describe how 4-H participation has helped you develop personally and professionally. Share your future goals and discuss the career you want to pursue and why.
    • Remember: Your story should be written in the first person, check for typographical errors and avoid gimmicks such as a calf telling your story. Stories should be specific to the curriculum area you are applying - do not write a general story and do not include county annual story.
  6. Supporting Material (Section 5)
    • Download Section 5: Support Materials
    • These materials must provide documentation to support your 4-H Career Portfolio.
    • No more than 4 pages of photos.
    • Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos.
    • A maximum of 6 pages.
    • all materials must fit within the confines of an 11 x 8.5 inches landscape page.
    • Photo pages:
      • Maximum of 4 pages of photos
      • Include a brief caption explaining the pictures
      • make sure to select photos that compliment the curriculum area
      • action photos provide more impressive documentation of 4-H activities
      • photos showing year-to-year progress or leadership activities provide excellent documentation of growth
      • color photocopies and/or digital photos are acceptable
      • photocopies of newspaper print pictures are NOT acceptable
      • DO NOT overlap photos where one photo must be lifted to see another
    • Optional supporting materials pages:
      • Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos
      • the material should relate specifically to the 4-H curriculum area
      • items must fit on 11 x 8.5 inches landscape page
      • DO NOT include letters of recommendation
      • DO NOT use newspaper clippings or newspaper articles
      • photography projects cannot include extra photo pages
      • DO NOT include specific project record book