It’s Never Too Early to Plan for the Future

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What did you want to be when you grew up? Children role-play by pretending to be an adult in a particular profession, living out what they want to be when they grow up. I can remember having different role-playing costumes and props as a child. My siblings, friends, and I would play house or dress up like doctors, nurses, waitresses, policemen, firemen, news broadcasters, or whatever we wanted to pretend to be. Role-playing as a child is important because it allows children to dream, be creative by using their imagination, and engage with other children while having fun. The 4-H Program gives youth between the ages of 5 and 18 the opportunity to learn about careers, what they have to do to become the person of their dreams, and engage with actual professionals who can guide and mentor them. Youth learn about setting goals and reaching them while building on existing strengths, discovering new ones, and overcoming fears.

When you ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”,  you never know what the answer will be. However, some children will repeat the same answer each time. Seldom do we take the response seriously until the child is older. It is never too early to encourage children, and let them know they have the ability and potential to become anything their heart desires. Consider signing them up for 4-H, and take advantage of the many benefits the program has to offer. Members are exposed to many positive opportunities allowing them growth in confidence, self-esteem, leadership, public speaking, social skills, interviewing skills, independence, and other essential life skills. Youth have the opportunity to learn talents and develop life skills that will benefit them throughout life.

Middle school is the perfect time to decide your career path or field. It’s a great time to start looking at different college options and making plans to achieve your ultimate goal. Instead of dreaming and pretending, it’s now time for job shadowing. It is an excellent option for teens to become familiar with a profession and gain experience in different fields. They could narrow their choices down and job shadow each career choice, making a list of pros and cons, listing everything from education, salary, demand, hours, advancement, benefits, and anything else that is important to them.

Rising high school juniors and seniors with a 3.2 unweighted grade point average have the opportunity to be a part of a 30-hour ACT prep course taught in Robeson County. Again, it’s never too early to start preparing and planning for the future. Youth will develop skills that will help them prepare for college and successful careers. The 4-H Program has offered a Teen Tour Camp in the past for ages 14 -18. This summer camp gives teens an opportunity to visit and tour a private, land-grant, and public college. Come join us on a fun-filled educational journey all year long.

You can sign up to be a part of this awesome youth development program by registering on 4HOnline. For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Associate, at 910-671-3276, by email at Wendy_Maynor@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.

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