Washington County 4-H Partners with WRAP

Washington County 4-H Partners with Washington Regional Alternative Program
Posted on 05/20/2022
Career Fair WRAP students

Washington County 4-H Partners with Washington Regional Alternative Program


AMES, Iowa – A new partnership was created between the Washington County 4-H program and the Washington Regional Alternative Program (WRAP) to provide the Build Your Future Program to 13 students, facilitated by Amy Green, Washington County Youth Coordinator, and Cherry Sandeen, Iowa 4-H Youth Program Specialist, in six, two-hour sessions. This program was funded by a grant through the Iowa 4-H Foundation.


The purpose of the program was to help youth develop skills and knowledge in career exploration and interactive learning experiences. Participants experienced a variety of learning methods such as reflecting on their personal interests, skills, values, and personality to identify career options and college majors, researched and explored careers, learned about career and employment portfolios, and began the process of creating their own. They also explored how education and training affect employment opportunities, earning potential, and lifetime earnings, they learned about employability skills such as writing a resume and interviewing for jobs, and worked on goals for the future by focusing on career goals and steps necessary to reach those goals.


The WRAP students had the opportunity to leave the classroom and participate in the 2022 Washington Community Job Fair at the YMCA. This provided a “real life” opportunity allowing students to practice introducing themselves to local business and industry leaders, as well as conduct their own research to learn more about local jobs that could be a potential opportunity for them.


Local community members, Face Art by Brandi and Hayely Hershberger, Kalona Realty, were invited as guest speakers to the Build Your Future class at WRAP because students had expressed interest in exploring the careers of a real estate agent and artist. The speakers shared their career journeys, education requirements, yearly salary potential, along with local career options in their prospective fields.


One of the participants shared, “This program has actually really made me think about my future career plans and it has taught me a lot about different jobs and how I can get started with my first job.”


Student surveys revealed that 92% of the students reported after participating in the Build Your Future Program that they could identify potential careers in their field of interest, 100% of the students reported that in the next three months that they plan to take steps toward reaching their career goal, and 100% reported that they are aware of what employers look for in job applications and resumes.


The WRAP students along with all Iowa high school youth are invited to enroll in an exciting new opportunity being offered by Iowa 4-H, Career Pathways Academy. The 4-H Career Pathways Academy is a 12-month immersive program for all Iowa youth in grades 8-11 that provides pathways to college and career preparedness.


The program will engage marginalized youth in research-based educational opportunities that promote:

·         Skill development in preparation for higher educational pursuits and careers in technical fields of study

·         Provide hands-on workforce development training to build leadership, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial skills, connect youth to externship opportunities in their local communities statewide

·         Prepare youth for long-term academic and vocational success, civic engagement, employability and economic stability, as well as provide them with opportunities for belonging and overall wellbeing



For more information on Iowa 4-H or the 4-H Career Pathways Academy, please visit https://www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/ or contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office.