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Emerald Star

What is the Emerald Star Program?

Sponsored by the San Mateo County 4-H Council and the 4-H County Office, the Emerald Star program gives the 4-H members an exciting opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity beyond the local club level and enter a new phase of leadership as they serve their club, county and community. To earn an Emerald Star, members plan and complete a multi-club, countywide, or multi-county service learning project or event to further develop and expand the 4-H program.


  • Applicant must be a member in good standing who has completed two years of 4-H prior to the year of application. Membership does not have to be consecutive years.
  • Applicant must be at least 13 years of age by December 31 of the current 4-H year.
  • Demonstrate leadership experience and skills - a past or present officer position for a club (i.e., president, vice president, treasurer, secretary); past or present Junior/Teen Leader role(s).
  • Demonstrate participation in community service projects.


  1. Develop an Emerald Star Plan of action for the proposed service learning project/event to be completed during the 4-H program year – some projects may be planned over several years. Your plan can be something that has been done before and needs to be done again or it can be something that no one has ever done but fills a need in the 4-H program or community. Service Learning resources: http://4h.ucanr.edu/Projects/CivicEngagement/service_learning/
  2. Select an adult coach who is not a family member. Adult coach must be an enrolled and approved 4-H adult volunteer.
  3. Complete Part 1 Entrance Application with plan and budget to the application site by Oct 1, Jan 1 or May 1.
  4. Submit your Part 2 Exit Application when project is completed.
  5. Present out completed project to County Council.

Items to Consider for the Emerald Star Plans:

All proposed service learning projects should be offered on a multi-club, county or area level, or in the community. 

The important factors to consider in deciding what to do for an Emerald Star Plan are:

  1. Is it something useful, something that is needed?
  2. Does it provide a chance for you to learn leadership beyond the project level in your own club?
  3. Is it something you can handle – areas, cost, time, skills you have or can acquire?
  4. Do you have the necessary support?
  5. Can it be completed in a feasible time?

Application Link:

Online applications are due no later than 11:59 pm PST on October 1, January 1 or May 1.

Next Steps:

  1. Countywide Emerald Star Committee evaluates the application. Evaluation rubric will be published.
  2. Applicant will be contacted by the Committee to present plan.
  3. Committee will inform applicant of decision within two weeks after the application has presented plan. DO NOT start project until you have been approved.
  4. Applicant conducts the Emerald Star Plan, checking in occasionally with the Committee to share progress and request support as needed.
  5. Upon plan completion, applicant submits a self-evaluation of the work performed under the plan of action and obtains final sign-off from the Emerald Star Advisor (Part 2: Exit Application Form).
  6. Applicant presents completed work at a County Council meeting.
  7. Applicant will be awarded the Emerald Star at the Annual Awards Ceremony (November).

Emerald Star Projects In Progress:

Will be published.