Nebraska 4-H

Community Development

teens paint over graffiti in downtown area

Nebraska 4-H fosters youth's commitment to their communities and growing future leaders. Through community development programs, youth develop and exercise leadership skills, gain a greater awareness of their civic responsibilities, participate in service projects, be represented on community decision bodies, and be engaged, well-informed citizens who are active in their local and global communities. 

Through community development programs youth develop important life skills, including:

  • Leadership
  • Citizenship
  • Communication
  • Concern for others
  • Contributing to a group


One of the most exciting opportunities we have as youth development professionals is fostering the talents of youth. Through programming focused on entrepreneurship, leadership development and community development we help youth grow into young leaders in their communities and provide pathways for youth to turn their ideas into reality. 4-H strives to provide opportunities for application and practice that will enable to youth to development the skillsets and the mindsets necessary to thrive as future entrepreneurs and future leaders. The ultimate goal is to ensure that youth are prepared to be active participants, leaders and contributors to their communities now and in the future. Feature programs delivered by 4-H Educators and Assistants include:

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Entrepreneurship Program

More than 250 mentors, volunteers, and businesses supported Youth Entrepreneurship and Business Opportunity activities. More than 900 youth participated in the entrepreneurship curriculum, and 676 students participated in INVENTURE Day. During INVENTURE Day, youth familiarize themselves with local businesses and business owners, identify potential entrepreneurial careers, and develop a business around a given product.

  • 72% of participants have a better understanding of the process of creating a business.
  • 68% have learned skills that will help them to be successful in running/operating their own business.


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Entrepreneurship Curricula

The ESI curriculum uses technology and web-based activities to teach middle and high school students the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. The program focuses on practical work youth can do in their own communities and leads them through the ideation and creation of a business and marketing plan. In 2018, 191 curriculum units were purchased from National 4-H online marketplace.

“Our ESI Camp allowed 14 Middle School students to explore what it takes to become an entrepreneur by setting a budget, being a smart consumer, exercising salesmanship, and earning a profit. Each kid learned that they can be successful if they have a plan, work hard, and are willing to learn.”

- Grant Project Director

Blue Print is a contemporary curriculum combining global challenges, historical perspectives, and practical solutions to develop youth entrepreneurial skills. The digital platform provides a user-friendly, accessible program in which students watch TED talks, learn about entrepreneurial history, and develop innovative solutions in their own communities. Blue Print was developed by Nebraska Extension staff. In 2018, 165 curriculum units were sold from National 4-H.

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Leadership Development Programs

Over 1,200 youth and 350 adults were engaged in leadership development activities including a Leadership Summit field day targeting 5-6th graders, 4 trips to Citizenship Washington Focus which allows teens to explore, develop, and refine civic engagement skills, and the Nebraska Extension Priceless Pre-Teen Program held in in-schools and afterschool programs.

  • 85% of youth felt confident in their ability to build positive relationships after training compared to 34% before training.
  • 89% of youth believe they can create positive change in their community after training compared to 34% before training.

CWF Program