University of Maryland Extension

University of Maryland Extension Receives Grant to Support 4-H National Mentoring Program

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Senator Barbara Mikulski announced today that National 4-H Council has awarded $184,400 to University of Maryland Extension in support of the 4-H National Mentoring Program. The grant comes as a part of the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s national effort to strengthen, expand and implement youth mentoring activities to improve the lives of millions of young Americans.

This generous grant will provide funding to facilitate 4-H mentoring programs in Maryland to keep kids safe and prevent youth delinquency. These programs were developed in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program which sparks innovation in community-based educational programs for children, youth, parents and families.

“As a social worker, I’ve seen first-hand the importance mentoring programs have in the life and development of children who have nowhere else to turn,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds DOJ. “I believe in putting funds in the federal checkbook to create investments in organizations like the National 4-H Council, which provides mentoring programs to help children learn and grow in a safe environment. By supporting at-risk children and families through mentoring, we are building up communities and laying the foundation for successful futures.”

Maryland 4-H currently has mentoring programs – called Tech Wizard clubs -- available for youth in Cecil and Garrett counties that expose them to STEM-related activities like robotics and computer programming. With the help of these recently awarded funds, Maryland 4-H will be able to expand these offerings into Baltimore City.

“The mentoring program made available through these dollars has been a significant asset to University of Maryland Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program,” said Jeff Howard, Assistant Director and program leader for Maryland 4-H. “We have recruited a number of children into 4-H who otherwise may have thought that 4-H had nothing to offer them.” 

According to The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspective on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, 76 percent of at-risk young adults who had a mentor aspire to enroll in and graduate from college versus half of at-risk young adults who had not had a mentor.1

As of 2013, the 4-H National Mentoring Program has served over 31,000 youth, resulting in significant outcomes in areas such as family relationships, perceptions of social support, and social competence.


1 Civic Enterprises with Hart Research Associates for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 2014

About 4-H
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Learn more about 4-H at, find us on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Contact: [Sara Gavin,, 301-405-9235]

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