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About 4-H

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Who We Are

4-H is the largest youth development organization in the United States and is open to all youth ages 5-18. There are about 6 million youth across the country who participate in hands-on educational activities that help them make lifelong friends, build life skills, and engage in their community. The name 4-H stands for head, heart, hands, and health which describes the developmental cornerstones of 4-H and is recited in the organization’s pledge:

Written description of 4-H Pledge. Image reads: I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living. For my club, my community, my country, and my world.

What We Do

4-H is the youth branch of Cooperative Extension and is overseen by a 4-H agent in every county across the state. Each county has access to educational curriculum and materials from North Carolina State University. Most youth participate in 4-H by completing a cumulative project under the guidance of adult mentors. Projects can be in areas of existing interests or new interests youth wish to explore. Examples of project areas include agriculture, STEM, or health – but the possibilities are endless!

Beyond projects, many youth participate in either community or special interest clubs. Clubs are guided by an adult volunteer leader but are youth-led. Youth elect peers as club officers and plan activities together. Clubs typically meet on a regular basis and offer an opportunity for youth to work on their projects with peers, participate in community service projects, and attend recreational outings. They are a great way to help youth develop their social and leadership skills in a safe and educational environment.

Youth can also get involved with 4-H through school enrichment, or if there are no clubs in their area then they can join as an at-large member.

Join Us!

Enrolling in 4-H is free! Enroll online at  4-H Online. Once a child’s enrollment is approved then they are free to participate in clubs and activities. Check out more information on the enrollment process. You can also contact Transylvania County 4-H agent Sarah Holden at or 828-884-3109 for assistance.


Research suggests that positive adult mentor relationships help youth thrive. That is why in 4-H adult volunteers are the key to successful programs. Volunteers serve a variety of roles from club leadership to serving on advisory boards. Reach out to Transylvania County 4-H agent Sarah Holden at or 828-884-3109 to see what volunteer opportunities are available.

Written By

Sarah Holden, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionSarah HoldenExtension Agent, 4-H Youth Development Call Sarah Email Sarah N.C. Cooperative Extension, Transylvania County Center
Page Last Updated: 2 years ago
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