Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a globally recognized and research-based approach to youth development that is incorporated into all 4-H programming.
Positive Youth Development
No matter where you are in the world, positive youth development (PYD) is a foundation of 4-H.
Positive Youth Development (PYD) is a globally recognized and research-based approach to youth development that considers young people as assets and partners in the community, and not as problems who need solving. PYD does not focus on one single activity or program, but rather is a general approach and philosophy incorporated into all 4-H programming.
Breaking PYD Down
This means that we are taking a strengths–based approach that builds on assets, interests, and strengths already within our members. By focusing on and developing these positive internal and external factors, we are supporting young people’s ability to achieve their goals and develop to their full potential.
- Fosters the existing strengths, abilities, interests, and attributes and builds on potential.
- Allows young people to build skills and develop assets in themselves
- Empowers youth to be responsible for their decisions, including to say “no” to negative influences
- Promotes positive influences like family, peers, schools, and communities.
Our program is focused on the developmental needs of young people and they are at the centre of everything we do.
This means creating opportunities for youth to develop to their full potential. This includes mastering skills, developing confidence, taking on leadership roles, and making healthy, responsible choices and decisions.
Can you spot PYD in action?
For 4-H members, PYD often looks something like this:
- Developing new skills and abilities
- Demonstrating leadership and taking ownership
- Thinking about, planning and setting goals for the future
- Expanding social skills and forming positive relationships with peers and adults
- Showing flexibility, adaptability, and comfort with change
- Growing ability to plan ahead and make decisions
Speaking in front of a group is the number one fear of Canadian adults, but not for those who have been in the 4-H program. 4-H Alumni often list communication skills as one of the biggest assets they have gained from the 4-H program. Practicing communication activities in a club setting not only builds member’s confidence, but also helps them to effectively convey their thoughts and opinions to others.