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Johnson County
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Olathe, KS 66061

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Power of Intentionality in 4-H

Ami Lin, 4-H Youth Development Agent

K-State Research & Extension - Johnson County

The Oxford Dictionary defines intentionality as the fact of being deliberate or purposive. Why does that matter?

For an example, I will go back to the early days when I first decided I wanted to get into youth education. I had just spent 12+ years in the classroom as a student, so why do I need to spend more time seeing the same thing? But you see, the purpose was different. As a future educator, I focused on the dialogue patterns, the variety in the questions asked, and other aspects of the classroom that I never stopped to think about. By being intentional, you see things from a whole new perspective.

How intentional are you in your daily life or your work as a 4-H volunteer?

4-H Volunteers can amplify their impact by being more intentional. 4-H Alumni can share numerous examples of how the program positively impacted their lives. Youth development researchers have strived to explain the trajectory for the positive developmental outcomes that 4-H’ers demonstrate. They found one key piece of 4-H linked to a positive outcome is the quality of the relationships within the program. The 4-H program provides the structure for youth to explore their interests in a safe and welcoming environment. The more intentional the adults are, the more powerful the impact is.

It is easy to get caught up in what we do and forget the why. This month, I challenge you to be more intentional about building developmental relationships using Search Institute’s framework. Intentionality will bring a whole new level of awareness and will give the purpose of your actions.

Search Institute identified five elements for strong positive relationships. They are:

  1. Express Care - Show me that I matter to you
  2. Challenge Growth - Push me to keep getting better
  3. Provide Support - Help me complete tasks and achieve goals
  4. Share Power - Treat me with respect and give me a say
  5. Expand Possibilities - Connect me with people and places that broaden my world

Download the printable version with specific actions in each of the areas at https://www.search-institute.org/dev-relationships-framework.

Copyright © 2018 by Search Institute®, 3001 Broadway Street NE, Suite 310, Minneapolis MN 55413; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org. Used with permission.

Contact Us

Jessie Furgins
4-H/Youth Development Agent
Jessie.Furgins@jocogov.org