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Creating a Path to Youth Emotional Wellness

A 4-H PYD Academy on Youth Mental Health

May 10-12, 2022

      • Registration open now ($250)
      • Registration closes May 6, and is limited to 1,000 participants
      •  Click here to register!

A 4-H PYD Approach to Supporting Youth Emotional Wellness

For all of us, emotional wellness exists on a continuum that is constantly changing. Even one night’s poor sleep can affect our emotional wellness the following day. And a good night of restorative sleep can often re-balance our emotional wellness. The same is true for young people. The myriad of challenges young people are facing at this moment in time, however, can make it difficult for youth to maintain a healthy state of emotional wellness, and we are seeing this reflected in the current deterioration of youth mental health.

Research shows that a positive youth development approach can make a big difference in supporting youth emotional wellness. When we focus on helping youth develop positive emotionality we are building their capacity to maintain emotional wellness, even in the face of considerable stress. And when we do this in 4-H, in settings where youth feel safe and know they belong and matter, and where they experience supportive relationships with adults, we are doing the very things that can have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing.

The 4-H Thriving Model identifies Positive Emotionality as one of the seven indicators of youth thriving. This PYD academy is designed to increase the capacity of 4-H professionals to support youth emotional wellness through a PYD approach to youth mental health. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from leading experts in the field as well as young people about the powerful impact 4-H can have on emotional wellness, build capacity for effective PYD approaches to help youth thrive.

Academy Goal

The overarching goal of the academy is to ground 4-H’s approach to supporting youth emotional wellness in the practice of positive youth development, including

      • Raising awareness of the current state of youth mental health in the U.S. and the unique role that youth development organizations like 4-H can play in addressing it
      • Developing an understanding of a PYD approach to supporting youth mental health
      • Learning how the 4-H Thriving Model provides a clear roadmap to supporting youth mental health through a PYD approach
      • Learning the multiple factors that negatively influence youth emotional wellness, and why they have a stronger negative impact during the pandemic
      • Understanding the youth populations that are at particular risk for poor emotional wellness and why the difference in risk is also an issue of equity
      • Learning strategies and exploring tools for a PYD approach to supporting youth emotional wellness and thriving
Tuesday May 10, 2022 – The Current Landscape of Youth Emotional Wellness

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Pamela Cantor, Turnaround for Children

Kicking us off on Tuesday is Dr. Pamela Cantor, Founder and Senior Scientist with Turnaround for Children. Dr. Cantor is a physician, author and thought leader on human potential. She practiced child and adolescent psychiatry for two decades, specializing in trauma. One of the lead scientists in the Science of Learning and Development, Dr. Cantor works to support the potential of every young person. You won’t want to miss this fascinating and inspiring keynote to help us understand the current landscape of youth emotional wellness.

Wednesday May 11, 2022 – Developing a 4-H PYD Approach to Youth Emotional Wellness

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Shauna Tominey, Oregon State University

On Wednesday we will focus on building new skills for our practical work with youth. The disruption of the last two years has profoundly impacted young people, and in order to meet their emotional wellness needs from a PYD perspective, we are going to have to up our game. Dr. Shauna Tominey, a parent education specialist at Oregon State University is known for her ability to blend practical experience with research to promote social and emotional development in youth and the adults who work with them.

Thursday May 12, 2022 – Building the Capacity of 4-H  to Support Youth Emotional Wellness

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Anthony Burrow, Cornell University

Dr. Anthony Burrow from Cornell University will wrap up our keynotes on Thursday morning as we focus on the positive impact 4-H can make in the lives of youth. Dr. Burrow’s keynote address will introduce us to the emotional wellbeing benefits of having a sense of purpose in our lives. As author of “Does Purpose Grow Here? Exploring 4-H as a Context for Cultivating Purpose”, Dr. Burrow will share what happens young people find their sense of purpose – one of the main ways that 4-H is helping youth thrive.

Daily Agenda (as of March 1, 2022)

11am ET (10am CT; 9am MT; 8am PT)
  • Daily mainstage event including welcome, setting the context for the day, and keynote address (90 minutes)
1pm ET (12pm CT; 11 am MT; 10am PT)
  • Youth response – Youth voice: “Not about Me Without Me.” Youth respond to the day’s topic (60 minutes)
2:30pm ET (1:30 CT; 12:30pm MT; 11:30am PT)
4:30pm ET (3:30pm CT; 2:30pm MT; 1:30 PT)
  • Time for individual state/LGU 4-H programs to meet together to reflect on and apply the day’s learning in their own programs (60 minutes)

Academy Planning Committee