Michigan 4-H makes a difference in postsecondary education enrollment
Michigan 4-H will double its capacity to serve Michigan youth for the next 100 years.
Campaign Priority: 4-H Endowment Investment
Campaign Goal: $4 million
Studies show that individuals with college degrees earn more over the course of their lifetimes and enjoy lower unemployment rates than those without a postsecondary degree. With more college graduates, Michigan would benefit greatly – through higher taxable earnings, more disposable income and lower rates of unemployment – from a more skilled and educated workforce.
Michigan 4-H is helping to prepare the next generation of college graduates in Michigan with a goal to double its capacity through endowment investments. With its wide range of programs, Michigan 4-H promotes personal growth, career exploration and goal setting. In addition, the program prepares youth for postsecondary education by helping build important life skills, increasing college aspirations and improving college readiness.
As a result:
- Since 2009, 61 percent of Michigan 4-H youth have enrolled in postsecondary education within six months after high school, a number significantly higher than the average Michigan student rate of 56 percent.*
- 4-H alumni are more likely to go to college than their same-age peers in 77 percent of Michigan counties.
- 45 percent of Michigan 4-H’ers who earned bachelor’s degrees did so in the highly sought after fields of science, technology, engineering and math. This is a rate 11 percent higher than the Michigan average.
*Sources: National Student Clearinghouse and MISchoolData.org
Megan Miller is a 12-year Van Buren County 4-H’er who has participated in a variety of small animal projects. But for Megan, her 4-H experiences were more than just a fun pastime – they were a lifeline that helped her develop her confidence, overcome anxiety and find her way in life. As she neared her high school graduation and the conclusion of her 4-H career, Megan took time to reflect on her 4-H experience and the difference it made in her life.
“As a young girl, I was never very good at speaking to other people. I struggled to express myself. I struggled to make friends. I struggled to be myself. Until one day, I would find a pledge and learn to recite it. Eventually it would become part of me. A pledge that would allow me to meet people and would change my life forever. Soon my life became modeled around four pillars: head, heart, hands and health. Years later, 4-H has allowed me to meet some very special people and meet some of my very best friends. But 4-H has become more than just making new friends and learning to be more confident. 4-H is about expanding my life and becoming a better me.”