IANRE staff and faculty are engaged in positive youth development.

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization. Kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take leadership roles. Alaska 4-H participants not only learn about traditional areas such as livestock production, but also participate in community-based citizen science, create written and visual arts, kayak, ski and more.

IANRE Youth Study
  • STEM
  • Bike Repair
  • Fashion and Crafts
  • Performing Arts
  • Hiking
  • Shooting sports
  • Dancing
  • Cooking and Fitness
  • Youth Government
  • Raising Livestock
  • Gardening
4-H encourages youth to thrive and to “make the best better.”

It empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime through research-based experiences. Based on their interests and guided by adult volunteers, youth develop their own pathway in 4-H through hands-on opportunities for everyone.

4-H is committed to youth engagement using positive youth development (PYD). PYD engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that enhances young people’s strengths. It promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities and fostering positive relationships to build on their leadership strengths.

4-H is delivered in partnership with local volunteers and resources. Youth participate in 4-H through clubs, special interest groups, after-school programs, camps, and in many other methods. 4-H youth “learn by doing” through hands-on activities, starting in their own communities, and reaching far beyond; while empowering them to develop and strengthen valuable life skills. Youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.

4-H’s reach and depth is unmatched. Through our community of 100 public universities, 4-H reaches kids in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities and to here, on the Alaskan frontier. Our national network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4-H professionals provide caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4-H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and into the future. 


Two young girls stand in front of their research poster
Sisters Mari and Alexandra from Sitka collected data about berries for four years as part of a citizen-science Winterberry project.