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National 4-H Council is now accepting applications for the annual Youth in Action Award to be presented at National 4-H Council's Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 2015. The Youth in Action Award is one of the highest honors a 4-H'er can achieve.

The award recognizes one remarkable 4-H'er who exemplifies the life-changing impact of 4-H, a young person who demonstrates personal growth, community impact and project excellence through their 4-H experience.

In addition to this great honor, the Youth in Action Award winner will receive:

  • Scholarship: A $10,000 scholarship for higher education.
  • Public recognition: An all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at Council's Legacy Awards on April 23, 2015. Promotion in the winner's hometown media as the national winner.
  • Executive references: Official reference letters from National 4-H Council executives and corporate supporters.
  • A shopping experience: A shopping experience (valued at $1,000) to select attire for the Legacy Awards event.
  • Spokesperson opportunities: Opportunities to serve as an official 4-H youth spokesperson through national media and events.
To qualify, applicants should be a 4-H member or recent alumni, ages 16-21, that represent the diversity and passions of 4-H youth nationwide, demonstrate outstanding leadership, showcase the essence of 4-H positivity and possess a proven ability to engage others. More detailed guidelines can be found at www.4-H.org/YouthInAction.

If you know of an outstanding 4-H member that fits this criteria, please encourage them to apply for this distinguished award.

Application deadline is Jan. 12, 2015. Please visit the Youth in Action Award website for information on the past winners.

If you have questions, please direct them to Rachel Mentzer at rmentzer@4-h.org.

Dorothy McCargo Freeman

Associate dean & state 4-H director

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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Grant writing and management services

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is equipped to assist 4-H staff with finding, writing and submitting grants as well as managing relationships with funders and any funds that are awarded.

As soon as you have identified either a funding need for your 4-H program or a grant you'd like to apply for, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins at the Foundation office, who will guide you through the grant writing and submission process.

Refer to these grant guidelines to learn more about applying for a grant in partnership with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.

Minnesota 4-H Foundation staff regularly updates a grants calendar that lists available grant opportunities by month. This is a good place to start if you're looking to fund a specific 4-H program in your area.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation


Do you have 4-H'ers who have demonstrated leadership that has resulted in a benefit for a community, county, family or individual? Minnesota county commissioners across Minnesota through the Association of Minnesota Counties would like to recognize leadership in 4-H and the change it produced in the community. Maybe it was a community project, an educational program that made a difference in the community and the lives of individuals.

Criteria for the award includes;

  • The service or leadership project must be organized by a recognized 4-H club or other recognized 4-H youth development program.
  • Project must engage multiple members of the 4-H club or group and not just one or two individuals or families.
  • Project must have responded to real community need(s).
  • Project must have been active and had impact during the 2014 calendar year.
  • Youth must be involved in significant leadership roles in the project, including in the selection of the project.
  • Project must demonstrate impact.
Additional application details are available in the application.

Applications are due Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2015. Contact Toni Smith at tsmith@mncounties if you have further questions.

Colleen Sanders

Central region program leader


Ka Joog was recently announced as the recipient of a $20,000 award from the Knight Arts Foundation.

To preserve the art of Somali poetry, Ka Joog will bring a mobile art program to neighborhoods across St. Paul, elevating Somali art forms and creating connections across peoples and communities. The pop-up arts education programs will focus on teaching Somali traditional oral art forms, increasing intercultural understanding, and engaging youth in positive activities that simultaneously connect them with their vibrant cultural heritage. Artists will lead classes that encourage youth to explore poetry, music and theater, and learn to respond critically, thus building bridges for collaboration and exposure for Somali artists.

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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Endowment annual reports

Annual reports for endowments held at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation will be available in early October this year. Our normal distribution date for endowment reports is in September, but some administrative adjustments in our office have impacted our timeline. Thank you for your patience. Questions regarding endowments can be directed to me via phone or email.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Helping Children Succeed RFP

A representative from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation will be attending the applicant training for Greater Twin Cities United Way's Helping Children Succeed grant on Oct. 2. If you work in the nine-county metro area and are interesting in applying for funds, please contact us as soon as possible to learn more.

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

2014 Helping Children Succeed RFP

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Greater Twin Cities United Way is pleased to announce that we will be releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Community Impact grants to Help Children Succeed in late September 2014. This RFP aligns with United Way's mission to create pathways out of poverty and reflects United Way's commitment to addressing educational disparities. Funding is slated to begin July 1, 2015.

These grants are open to any 501(c)(3) serving or looking to serve in the nine-county metro area that works with low-income children and youth at or below 200% of the poverty line. Organizations that are selected will not only be awarded a yearly monetary allocation, but will also benefit from being part of United Way's network of community partners. This network supports collaboration amongst funded partners, peer learning and professional development. In addition, they serve as a key vehicle and partner in determining how best to meet our community's most pressing needs.

In order to make the application process as easy as possible for proposers, United Way will be offering two trainings to walk you through key components of the RFP and the online application process. Participation in these trainings is highly encouraged, though not required. The trainings will take place at Greater Twin Cities United Way, 404 S. 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Please note that trainings may fill up, so please be sure to register as soon as possible. An additional training date will be added if needed.

If you would like to attend one of these in-person trainings, please register by Tuesday, Sept. 30.

If you wish to participate via live webinar, please register by clicking on the date you wish to attend below.

For the most up-to-date and timely information regarding the RFP, please visit our website.

Greater Twin Cities United Way

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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  • Communicate Lead Succeed Award

    For the past several years the Minnesota 4-H Foundation has offered annual awards to youth engaged in multiple activities that build their communication skills. Funding for the Communicate Lead Succeed Award has been expended and is, therefore, no longer available. We hope that you will help us communicate this to any youth in your area who might be affected.

    We are very grateful for the support the Minnesota Corn Growers and Best Buy provided Minnesota 4-H youth through this award. We look forward to finding new ways to encourage communication excellence in the future. Please watch the foundation website for updates.

    If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation (erinkc@umn.edu).

    Erin Kelly-Collins

    Minnesota 4-H Foundation

  • Grant funding for safety & financial literacy education

    State Farm is now accepting applications for their Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants. Funding priorities are for safety education (home safety and fire prevention, disaster preparedness, and disaster recovery) and financial literacy (basic economics, budgeting, and employable skills training).

    Some curriculum resources to consider: www.4-hmall.org/Category/businesscitizenship.aspx

    If you're interested in submitting an application for a 4-H program in your area, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins (erinkc@umn.edu) at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation by Sept. 30.

Erin Kelly-Collins
Minnesota 4-H Foundation


National Institute on Out-of-School Time on behalf of the Robert Bowne Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 National Afterschool Matters Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. research grants. With generous funding from the Robert Bowne Foundation, there are new funding guidelines. Download the application and RFP.

The application deadline is Nov. 14. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Sara Hill or call 917-418-3780.

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation recently completed reviewing the Helping Hands grants and finalized their funding decisions. This year we had 67 applications! It was great to see so many wonderful applications from across the state. The large number of applications made our fund distribution committee's job very difficult since we had $36,000 to distribute this year and the total requests from applicants was over $90,000! Applicants were mailed award letters last week. The list of 2014 award winners will be available after April 1 on the Minnesota 4-H Foundation website at http://www.extension.umn.edu/youth/Support/ . Click on scholarships, grants and awards and then on the grant tab. Thank you to all of our applicants!

Cara Miller
Executive director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota 4-H Foundation news

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More than $4,000 given by Tractor Supply Company to Minnesota 4-H county programs

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is pleased to announce that 10 Minnesota counties have been awarded funds totaling $4,030 from the Fall 2013 Paper Clover Promotion through National 4-H. This promotion is held twice annually in partnership with Tractor Supply Company stores across the nation. During this promotion, shoppers at participating stores are asked to donate $1 or $5 to their county's 4-H program. Each contribution was honored by the display of the donor's name on a paper clover at their local store. The next TSC Paper Clover Promotion will be in the spring of 2014.

Please help us congratulate the following county recipients:

  • Blue Earth
  • Clay
  • Dakota
  • Isanti
  • Morrison
  • Nobles
  • Olmsted
  • Scott
  • Sherburne
  • Wright
For questions about the TSC Paper Clover Promotion, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins, County Development Liaison, at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation (erinkc@umn.edu / 612-624-7667).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Are there 4-H youth in your community with a great idea that could use some funding? There's still time to apply for a 2014 Helping Hands Grant from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation!

The goal of the Helping Hands Grant is to fund worthy youth development programs or projects that young people want, adults are ready to support, and that represent an investment of time and energy together. Average grant awards are usually between $200 and $2,000. Multiple applicants from the same county are welcome and encouraged.

Applications are due to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office by Feb. 1, 2014. Yes, that's only three weeks from now, so time is of the essence! Applications can be downloaded from the 4-H Foundation website or requested from Erin Kelly-Collins (erinkc@umn.edu).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Each year the Minnesota 4-H Foundation awards approximately $30,000 to counties and clubs through the Helping Hands Grant program. Our goal is to fund worthy youth development programs and projects that young people want, adults are ready to support, and that represent an investment of shared time and energy.

Average grant awards are between $200 and $2,000. Multiple applicants from the same county are welcome and encouraged.

Applications are available on our website or by contacting our office. Completed applications are due to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation office by Feb. 1, 2014.

If you have any questions about the Helping Hands Grant program, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation (erinkc@umn.edu/612-624-7667).

Erin Kelly-Collins

Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Minnesota CYFAR update

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The Extension Center for Youth Development Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) team recently successfully completed a five-year sustainable communities project. The team established eight youth cohorts that were integrated into local communities, infused with technology to leverage learning, and were sustained through community partnerships and family involvement. The target audience was middle school aged youth living in low income households and their parents or guardians.

This five-year project took place in three locations -- Willmar, Winona, and St. Paul -- reaching a total of 323 youth and 185 parents and guardians. Three long-term goals steered our efforts:

  1. Youth will set long-term personal education goals in the context of higher education and careers.
  2. Youth will exhibit mastery in a topic area of their choice.
  3. Parents/guardians will be engaged with their children on setting and meeting educational goals.
Youth in each cohort identified long-term educational goals and plans that were shared at public capstone presentations. Parents/guardians participated in the program by participating in empowerment sessions and by working with their children at home.

The CYFAR team was comprised of Youth Development staff and community partners from across the state. The team's hard work, talent and commitment to the project goals were instrumental to the project's success.

Ann Walter and Carolyn Dingfelder led the development of three cohorts at the Winona Area Learning Center, Winona Middle School and Kids First/Winona Housing Development. The youth focused on scientific inquiry and leadership skills. The program at Winona Middle School continues to be carried out by a promise fellow and the Kids First program is sustained through a partnership with Winona State University.

Trish Sheehan and Krista Lautenschlager partnered with Willmar Community Education and Recreation and Willmar Middle School to develop three cohorts in Willmar. The program encouraged participants to use scientific processes and higher level thinking. Krista continues to coordinate these programs as part of her plan of work.

Jessica Russo, Erica Gates and Joyce Strand partnered with American Indian Magnet School (AIMS) and affordable housing unit, Emma's Place (both in St. Paul). The group at AIMS explored nature in the context of Ojibwe and Lakota cultures and raised public awareness of the Big Urban Woods. Youth at Emma's place focused on family development, science and performing arts. Programming at AIMS continues with the support of 21st Century Funding. The Youth Coordinator at Emma's Place is continuing programming, staying connecting to 4-H through trainings and event attendance.

Finally, the state team was led by Principal Investigator, Jennifer Skuza, CYFAR educator, Joanna Tzenis and CAREI evaluator Tim Sheldon.

Minnesota CYFAR team
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