The PLWG standing committee on positive youth development (PYD) seeks to advance the science and research foundation of positive youth development across the 4-H system, with an emphasis on informing and transforming PYD practice in 4-H across the country. Specifically, the committee works to advance research and evaluation, professional development, and alignment across the 4-H system to advance science-based positive youth development in 4-H that is consistent, correct, and complete.
After completing a three-year PLWG charter as a task force, the Helping Youth Thrive project was approved as a chartered standing committee on April 27, 2022. We are seeking committee membership applications from across the Extension 4-H system to guide this important work forward under the charter of the PLWG.
Professional Development Working Group
The professional development working group is led by two to four 4-H professionals with expertise and experience in professional development. The group identifies and develops high-quality professional development materials and experiences designed to build professional capacity in PYD and in the Youth Development and Youth Program Development competency areas of the Professional Research, Knowledge and Competencies (PRKC).
Research and Evaluation Working Group
The research and evaluation working group is led by two to four 4-H professionals with expertise and experience in youth development research and program evaluation. This working group is responsible for identifying areas of potential research and program evaluation related to the 4-H Thriving Model. The group also works to build professional capacity in the areas of PYD program planning and evaluation across the 4-H system. The working group coordinates their efforts with the 4-H Common Measures team as appropriate.
Organizational Alignment Working Group
The organizational alignment working group is led by two-four 4-H professionals who have leadership experience across the 4-H system, and knowledge of how the system and its partners interact and work with each other. This group is responsible for supporting the committee in its effort to ensure a consistent, correct, and complete understanding of PYD across the 4-H system, advocates for the 4-H Thriving Model as the theory of change for 4-H PYD.
Other Committee Structures
Regional 4-H PYD Champion Network
The Regional 4-H PYD Champion Network is facilitated by a network facilitator who convenes and supports the network consisting of up to two “champions” from each LGU 4-H program. The champions, who are organized into regional groups, work with each other to extend the work of the PYD committee into the 4-H system. Within their regions champions work to identify training and materials needs related to the 4-H Thriving Model, develop easy-to-access introductory materials on 4-H and PYD A subset of champions will serve as certified professional 4-H Thriving Model educators, providing training on the model across the 4-H system. Membership in the Regional 4-H PYD Champion Network is through a separate application.
Mission Critical Liaisons
Mission critical liaisons are individuals from various 4-H stakeholder groups that are purposefully invited to be engaged with the PYD committee work. Liaisons include, but are not limited to, members of other PLWG committees, 1890s representatives, and national 4-H partners (e.g., NIFA, NAE4-HYDP). The liaisons are identified, recruited and supported by a national liaison coordinator.
PYD Academy Chair
The outflow of the PYD committee is through a series of PYD Academies. The PYD Academy Chair is responsible for organizing, convening, and facilitating the academy planning committees to ensure the academy success. The chair recruits and supports academy planning teams made up of 4-H Extension professionals, and organizes the virtual platform and technological aspects of the academy. The PYD Academy Chair is appointed and supported by National 4-H Council. Council’s role in academies is in alignment with its threefold mission to (1) convene; (2) provide resources; and (3) tell the story of efforts conducted by the Extension 4-H system.
The PYD Liaison to the NAE4-HYDP Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that PYD capacity building efforts across the 4-H System are connected to, and supported by, NAE4-HYDP. The 4-H PYD capacity building effort was chartered in 2019 as a Program Leader’s Working Group (PLWG) task force, and approved as a permanent PLWG Standing Committee on Positive Youth Development in 2022. The standing committee promotes consistent PYD theory, research, and practice in 4-H, with a special emphasis on capacity building for 4-H professionals. The chair of the PYD Standing Committee is also NAE4-HYDP Liaison.
Applications for committee membership are open between June 1 and July 31 each year.