Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2003, $745,125)
The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service (NMSU CES) will provide life skills and educational strategies in this 4 H pilot propgram that targets higher at-risk youth. Additionally, The program will increase the number of volunteers in the New Mexico 4-H Youth Development Program. NMSU CES will hire three Extension staff to focus on the needs of at-risk youth in three New Mexico counties of McKinley, Rio Arriba and Valencia. The goal of this 4-H Youth Development Program effort will be youth attaining life skills and the positive involvement of youth in their community. These Counties have been identified as having significant numbers of youth who are at-risk for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, gang involvement, suicide, diabetes, home alone after school, and limited extracurricular activities. Many of these youth are in families with low income. The program would involve youth, ages 5- 19, who are primarily Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo. The goals for the program include 1) to involve 300 caring and supportive adults to provide opportunities for adolescents to participate in a variety of 4-H delivery activities ; 2) to offer 3,000 adolescents challenging opportunities and educational activities to develop life skills, and 3) to enhance the 4-H Youth Development Program by strengthening community partnerships and collaborations and strengthening current 4-H county programs.