California is one of 22 states in the nation where a new Google career education program was launched today. The Internet search giant has donated $1.5 million to the National 4‑H Council to build skills youth will need for the future, like computer science, computational thinking, communication and collaboration, reported Christopher Walljasper on AgWeb.
The funding lays the foundation to launch the 4‑H Computer Science Career Pathway, which will reach more than 100,000 kids in its first year. 4-H members in Alabama, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia will have access to new devices, curriculum and training.
President of National 4-H Council Jennifer Sirangelo said the career pathway will translate abstract concepts to relatable, practical experiences the 4-H members can use to explore the field of computer science, beginning from interest to studying computer science to choosing computer science for a career.
"We're excited to partner with all the enthusiasm and energy of the Googlers," she said.
Charlotte Smith of Google.org noted that 4-H is the largest community based organization in America.
"We already have 22 states signed up. That's more than we dreamed of," Smith said.
Smith said Google wants kids to develop the skills they will need in the future.
"We don't know what the jobs of tomorrow will look like," Smith said. "Some of them might require computer science skills, but it's much more than that - problem solving, collaboration. We want to give kids as many kinds of tools as we can so they can succeed in any discipline and any field."
4-H, offered in all California counties by UC Cooperative Extension, engages youth ages 5 to 19 in reaching their fullest potential. Club and after-school programs are designed to provide knowledge, expertise and skills that will help youth develop into responsible, self-directed, and productive people. 4-H encourages family involvement.
The Ventura County Star's heart-warming story traces Demisu's journey from his native Ethiopia to a ranch in rural Upper Ojai. One of 10 children, three adopted from the west African nation, Demisu has triplegia, the use of only his right arm. The rocky and uneven terrain at the family's ranch made it difficult for Demisu to get around, so he decided to raise funds for a heavy-duty wheelchair that he can operate with one hand. The cost is $6,000.
Demisu raised a 113-pound lamb, and sold it for $75 a pound to the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation. At market, sheep are typically valued at about $1 to $2 per pound, according to Sheep101.com. Bidding for Demisu's sheep went through the roof when bidders learned he would be using the money for the new, custom wheelchair.
According to the article, written by UC Cooperative Extension 4-H program representative Shanna Abatti, 20 years have passed since a 4-H Club was chartered in Calexico, the second-largest city in Imperial County.
One of the biggest challenges in starting a new club is identifying volunteer leaders. Clubs usually have 1 or 2 organizational leaders who help the youth elect officers, structure club meetings and attend 4-H council board meetings. Volunteer project leaders provide learning activities in project areas of their choice, such as photography, hiking, folklorico, arts and crafts, animals or any other field.
The funding from the Imperial County Board of Supervisors will allow the 4-H office to hold an interest meeting in Calexico, train project leaders, purchase kits needed to implement projects, cover enrollment fees for participants and purchase hats and t-shirts for the youth.
Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook advertising, was an active 4-H youth in Santa Clara County from age 9 to 19, reported Parija Kavilanz on CNN Money. He said he learned computer programming from a 4-H mentor before eventually attending Harvard, where he met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
"I was into cooking projects and I raised sheep, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs," Bosworth told the reporter. "I wore my 4-H uniform and would show my animals at the country fair."
4-H is now focusing on programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in order to prepare youth for prosperous careers, aiming to reach 10 million youth nationwide by 2025, a 67 percent increase. Much of the growth will be fueled by STEM programming. Bosworth said 4-H's learn-by-doing, hands-on approach is a key to generating interest in STEM.
"If you look back to my experience with 4-H, what was great was that you were doing an activity and building a social skill," said Bosworth. "It was fun. You were doing it with your friends, and you were doing it as part of the community."
A brother and sister who are members of Olivenhain Valley 4-H in San Diego County were awarded medals by Congressman Darrell Issa for their service to the community. The two appeared on Good Morning San Diego and were featured in an article in the Encinitas Advocate.
Sissy Sugarman, 14, received a bronze medal. In addition to her community service work, Sissy has participated in almost all of the Olivenhain Valley's 20 4-H projects. She served as the teen leader of the rabbit project, the sewing project, the trail riding project and the sheep-breeding project. Sugarman is currently the club's vice president.
Sissy's brother Samuel, 18, has received three medals from the Congressman - bronze and silver medals in 2014 and a gold medal this year. The Congressman joked they may need to invent a platinum medal to acknowledge all of Samuel's achievements. Samuel took part in 4-H beekeeping, sewing, market lamb and heritage turkey projects. Part of Samuel's service was conducted on the island of Grenada, where he helped teach underserved children how to swim.