How to Volunteer
"When adults take time to help young people through 4-H, they exert an enormous, positive influence on the lives of youth."
~ Retired General Colin Powell
The 4-H program depends on adult volunteers -- often the parents/guardians of members -- willing to invest their time, energy, and resources to lead projects and provide educational experiences for youth in their community.
Youth and adults spend time together learning new skills, developing hidden talents, making new friends, and having fun. One of the best things 4-H offers is an opportunity to enjoy learning with family and friends. For more information about volunteering with 4-H in Santa Clara County, please contact the 4-H secretary at the County 4-H Office.
Volunteer leaders work with small groups of kids to carry out experiential learning ("learning-by-doing") activities. These activities enable youth to develop life skills, build competencies, explore career options, contribute to their communities, and prepare them for a positive and successful place in society. At the club level, adult volunteers may take on the following positions (download Adobe Acrobat Reader free at http://www.adobe.com to view and print these PDF files):
- Community Leader or Assistant Community Leader
- Project Leader or Assistant Project Leader
- Coordinator or Event Coordinator
There are also volunteer opportunities at the county level where your time and talents would be greatly appreciated.
How to Volunteer
Volunteer leaders must be at least 18 years old, although additional age restrictions may apply for certain roles and responsibilities. (For example, event chaperones must be at least 25 years old.) In order to provide a safe environment for youth, all prospective 4-H volunteers are required to:
- Complete an Online Adult Enrollment Application which includes a code of conduct and confidential self-disclosure statement;
- Submit to and receive criminal record clearance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) through Live Scan electronic fingerprinting; and
- Undergo a New Adult Volunteer Certification offered by the Volunteer Certification Coordinator in each 4-H Club or by county 4-H program staff.
Following DOJ clearance, completion of an Adult Volunteer Certification, and payment of a nominal fee, volunteers are appointed for a one year term, renewable annually. Two fingerprinted Adult Volunteers are required to be in attendance at all events and activities at all times.