4-H Tech Wizards is a youth development and mentoring program developed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension System to provide opportunities to under-served youth. It began as a bilingual, family-supported, after-school program to support and engage low-income Latino/Hispanic youth who were lagging behind in STEM classes and careers.
Today, Tech Wizards connects under-served youth, grades 4-12, with professional mentors. The mentors provide training in STEM subjects such as website development, video and podcast productions, GIS/GPS technologies and robotics. Participants use these new skills to give back to their communities by creating a 15-hour technology-related service project.
4-H TECH WIZARDS MENTORING PROGRAM AT-A-GLANCE
NEW YORK CITY
WHO: The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – or OJJDP – is collaborating with National 4-H on this mentoring project because of their history of excellence in the field of youth development, service and mentoring. The project in NYC is being coordinated by Cornell University Cooperative Extension New York City.
WHAT: The 4-H Tech Wizards Program is an out-of-school mentoring program that partners caring adults with NYC youth using science, technology and community service as vehicles to enhance their knowledge and skills as well as address needs and issues in their communities. Non-paid mentors and agency staff volunteer their time to do group mentoring in after school settings.
WHEN: Contractually, the program is year-long. The program runs from January – December. During the school year, mentors and mentees will meet weekly for one- to two-hour sessions for a total of 50 contact hours. During the summer the program provides trips and education opportunities for youth.
WHERE: Tech Wizards is located at sites in New York City including Fort Hamilton Military Base and St Marks Day School in Brooklyn, and Queens Community House in Queens.
HOW : Each site will have approximately four adult mentors & 20-30 youth participants working together as a large group on science & technology education, then in smaller teams to accomplish a service project. In total, there will be 16 mentors & 90 mentees in the program.