If 4-H'ers earn project recognition for things they do as a matter of course in their schools and with their families—things they would do whether or not they were 4-H members—then is 4-H really making a difference in their lives? I make a case for rigor and high expectations in 4-H project work and suggest that state Extension specialists, in their engagement in 4-H, have a unique opportunity to strengthen 4-H programming as a bridge to excellence in the academic and professional careers of its participants.



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