Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H! / “yay 4-H”) is a 4-H leadership program that empowers teens to make a difference in their community by exploring and helping solve community issues. This year the YA4-H! team is focusing on two projects (food and nutrition, and substance misuse prevention) both of which are issues of increasing concern, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Teen interns will work 1-2 hours per week within the YA4-H! club in a team with WSU faculty, staff, and 4-H volunteers to learn about these important issues, brainstorm local solutions, and then take action by completing a teen-led community project. These 5-month paid internships are open to all high school-aged teens. Interns can earn approximately $500 total for active participation.
Members also have opportunities to apply for paid WSU internships, travel, attend leadership conferences, rack up resume-boosting volunteer hours, and more.
YA4-H! is open to all high-school aged teens. You do not need to already be in 4-H to join.
BELONG to a club with other teens interested in helping others.
LEARN the skills you need to identify, investigate, understand, and address complex issues.
LEAD the way – brainstorm solutions and take action to make a positive difference.
INSPIRE a better future, and create the change you want to see in the world.
November 2021 UPDATE: We are currently hiring YA4-H! Interns in Spokane County! Priority will be given to applications submitted by November 12th, 2021. Learn More – Apply Here!
What will I do?
This year the YA4-H! team is focusing on two projects (food and nutrition, and opioid-use prevention) both of which are issues of increasing concern, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Teen interns will work within the YA4-H! club in a team with WSU faculty, staff, and 4-H volunteers to learn about these important issues, brainstorm local solutions, and then take action by completing a teen-led community project. Teen interns will:
- Participate in team meetings (once a week)
- Complete research and project assignments (for example, you may be asked to find and review news articles about local health issues, interview friends/family/others about local health issues, or create content for social media posts)
- Work with teammates to complete work and brainstorm ideas
- Work with teammates to complete a teen-led community project
Tell me more about the two projects?
Within the YA4-H! club we are offering two projects that interns can work on:
- Healthy Habits: Interns in this project will be learning about food, nutrition, physical health, and mental health. Interns will have the option to help lead multiple projects including take-home kits for kids (full of fun activities), social media outreach, and website design. It’s possible other neat projects will pop up as well! Some interns may design and build kits, some may learn about social media marketing and create content to post on Instagram and Facebook, and others may learn how to build and edit websites.
- Health Rocks!: The National curriculum, Health Rocks! Inspired to Be Substance Free, will provide knowledge regarding healthy and trusting relationships as well as ideas for saying “No!” to substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
- (Not offered for the 2021/2022 year) Take-PART: Take-PART is Participatory Action Research with Teens. Interns in this project will be learning about opioids, opioids-use and abuse, prevention ideas, and conducting their own social science research about substance use. Interns in this project will brainstorm, vote on, design, and complete a community action project related to opioid-use/abuse. This could look like so many different things! We won’t know until the interns vote: A social media campaign? Posters in schools and around town? An educational booth at the farmer’s market? Or 100 other ideas! FYI: Substance use is a complex topic, it’s possible the team may also explore social connections, friendship, mental health, or more as we learn and select project ideas.
Can I intern with one project or both?
You can apply for one or both projects! Depending on interest both projects may run at the same time or Healthy Habits may start after Take-Part is finished in the spring.
What’s the difference between an internship and a job?
An internship is mainly focused on teaching you the skills necessary to complete the work or role. Jobs typically offer a short training period but then require you to work independently from that point on. So, we will be learning-by-doing as we work together. These internships are also taking place within a club-like environment, so we will be developing leadership skills, having fun, and team-building in addition to developing job skills. We’ve been running YA4-H! internships for 7 years and our interns usually describe these opportunities as “the best job I’ve ever had,” where their voice is valued, where they have fun, and where they get to make a real difference in the community.
What’s the schedule?
- Healthy Habits: We will develop the schedule for this project based on the interest and availability of the team! The project will have our teen interns learn a new curriculum and then teach it to younger students in the Spokane County school district. This project will start in the winter and go through spring, 2022. Interns will likely work about 1 hour per week. This project could possibly go through the beginning of summer, 2022.
- Health Rocks!: We will develop the schedule for this project based on the interest and availability of the team! The project will have our teen interns learn a new curriculum and then teach it to younger students in the Spokane County school district. This project will start in the winter and go through spring, 2022. Interns will likely work about 1 hour per week. This project could possibly go through the beginning of summer, 2022.
- (Not offered for the 2021/2022 year) Take-PART: We plan to start the Take-PART project first. Meeting once a week starting in early November and ending in March. We will likely meet on Tuesdays after-school. We won’t meet during spring break. A typical work week will look like: 1.5 hours of team time, and 1 hour of independent or partner work.
Is everything online?
To start, yes! Right now all 4-H programs, including this one are online or at-a-distance. We’ll meet over Zoom as a team, but some work will happen on your own time away from the computer if you wish 🙂 When 4-H programming is allowed to take place in-person we’ll hold conversations about what we wish to do moving forward. Since interns will probably live across Spokane County, it is likely that team meetings will continue online regardless of COVID-concerns.
What does it pay?
$500 total for active participation in the Take-PART project. The schedule and total hours for Healthy Habits isn’t set yet.
How old do I need to be?
YA4-H! internships are designed for teens within 4-H’s senior age division that means you should be 14-18 years old by October 1st, 2021.
Do I have to be a 4-H member to apply?
Nope, but part of the internship process will include enrolling in the YA4-H! club, which means becoming a 4-H member. The $25.00 enrollment fee will be paid for by WSU/4-H.
How do I apply?
Click Here to Apply!