National 4-H Congress
Nebraska's Selection Process/Criteria
Who can apply?
Any 4-H participant, completing two years of a 4-H project, is eligible to apply for incentives offered. A 4-H participant is anyone enrolled in 4-H.
What are the age requirements?
From age 8 to 19 county awards program may vary depending on the county. All state award applicants must become 15-19 during the calendar year in which the incentive is actually received. The last year of 4-H eligibility is the calendar year the member becomes 19. Any 4-H member receiving an award resulting in an event/trip must meet the age requirements of the event/trip.
At what point in my 4-H career can I apply?
A 4-H youth must complete a minimum of two years of a 4-H project to be eligible to apply for a National 4-H Youth Congress Award in a curriculum area. When applying for an award, based on eight curriculum area(s), the applicant must be enrolled in a related project at the time of the application and remain enrolled through the time of the event or program provided as recognition.
How many applications can be submitted?
Counties may set their own limitations on the number of incentives an individual may apply for at the county level. For competition beyond the county level, an individual 4-H member:
- at the county level a 4-H participant may be selected for district/state competition in two curriculum areas resulting in a trip to National 4-H Youth Congress.
- may apply in two curriculum areas for National 4-H Youth Congress regardless of place of residence. (For example: an individual belonging to two clubs in different counties may only submit two books for National 4-H Youth Congress consideration, not two books per county of membership.)
- each County may submit the following quotas to district/state competition:
Animal Science - 7
Communication & Expressive Arts - 4
Consumer & Family Science - 5
Environmental Education & Earth Science - 4
Healthy Lifestyles - 5
Leadership & Citizenship - 6
Plant Science - 4
Science & Technology - 4
How many awards can I receive?
- 4-H participants can only represent Nebraska in one curriculum area. If a 4-H member is fortunate enough to win in two areas, they must choose which curriculum area they want to be recognized in. Make sure first and second choices are marked on the curriculum area on the 4-H Career Portfolio entry sheet.
- 15 applicants will be chosen for partial scholarships to attend National 4-H Congress. Alternates may attend National 4-H Congress at their own expense.
- a 4-H member may only attend National 4-H Youth Congress one time and National 4-H Conference one time. (Please refer to the state 4-H web page www.4h.unl.edu to understand the difference between these two programs).
- 4-H members who win an award to attend National 4-H Youth Congress or National 4-H Conference and decline the award are eligible to compete for the same incentive in future years. There is no guarantee they will be selected in subsequent years
The Nebraska 4-H Career Porfolios that have advanced to state competition are due January 15 to the District Research and Extension Center.
The following materials are required in the 4-H Career Portfolio and should be assembled in the order listed. A separate book must be submitted for each application.
Use a standard Acco-type fastener binder for paper size 8½ x 11 inches. Do not use a loose-leaf ring binder.
- PRE-PRINTED TAB DIVIDERS
- APPLICATION AND CURRICULUM FORMS
- 4-H CAREER PORTFOLIO (Sections 1-3) - a composite of all 4-H and non 4-H projects/activities throughout the individual's 4-H career.
- The 4-H Career Portfolio has been designed for use with Microsoft Word or Open Office. It is not required to be typed.
- Additional pages may be added to the form as indicated.
- The 4-H Career Portfolio information should be printed using True Type Font, Times New Roman, 12 point and in Landscape format.
- THE 4-H CURRICULUM STORY (Section 4)
Directions: A maximum of six pages on one side, double-spaced with 1 ½ inches on the top and 1 inch on the side and bottom margins, True Type Font, Times New Roman, 12 point font printed in the Landscape format.
Suggested Story Format: (The following outline may help in the development of your story; however, do not identify these parts in your story.)
Part 1: Introduction
Introduce yourself, you may wish to include information about your family and personal interest. Include when and why you joined 4-H, etc. You may want to tell why 4-H is important to you.
Part 2: Describe Your Growth in Your Curriculum Area - in the area you are applying for an award
Relate some of the experiences and activities while you were completing your 4-H project(s). Share how 4-H and your project(s) helped you learn new knowledge and skills. You may want to include ideas you tried that were successful or unsuccessful.
Part 3: Other 4-H Projects and Experiences
Share highlights of other 4-H projects, activities, or experiences not mentioned in Part 2 (see above), include any major learning experiences, items of special interest, and/or unusual situation you encountered.
Part 4: Leadership/Community Service related to the Curriculum Area in which you are competing.
Explain how 4-H has helped you become a better leader and citizen. How has 4-H increased your interest and participation in community affairs, and what you have learned from team efforts?
Part 5: Conclusion - summary of the impact of 4-H on you.
Describe how 4-H participation has helped you develop personally and professionally. Share your future goals and discuss the career you want to pursue and why.
Your story should be written in first person, check for typographical errors and avoid gimmicks such as a calf telling your story. Stories should be specific to the curriculum area you are applying - do not write a general story and do not include county annual story.
- Support Material (Section 5)
Directions: These materials must provide documentation to support your 4-H Career Portfolio.
- No more than 4 pages of photos.
- Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos.
- A maximum of 6 pages.
- All materials must fit within the confines of an 11 by 8½ inches landscaped page.
- No more than four pages of photos.
- Include a brief caption explaining the picture.
- Make sure to select photos that compliment the curriculum area.
- “Action” photos provide more impressive documentation of 4-H activities.
- Photos showing year-to-year progress or leadership activities provide excellent documentation of growth.
- Color photocopies, and/or digital photos are acceptable.
- Photocopies of newspaper print pictures are not acceptable.
- Do not overlap photos where one photo must be lifted to see another.
Two Optional Pages of Supporting Material:
- Up to 2 additional pages of supporting materials other than photos.
- Material should relate specifically to 4-H curriculum area.
- Items must fit on 11 x 8½ inches landscaped page.
- Do not include letters of recommendation.
- Do not use newspaper clippings or newspaper articles.
- Photography projects cannot include extra photo pages.
- Do not include specific project record books.
Nebraska 4-H Career Portfolio Scorecard
The Nebraska 4-H Career Porfolio Scorecard outlines evaluation in the following categories:
- 35% Project Accomplishments
- 35% 4-H Leadership, Community Service, Volunteer, Citizenship & Educational Experiences
- 5% Non 4-H Experiences
- 15% 4-H Career Story
- 5% 4-H Support Materials
- 5% General