CORVALLIS - The Oregon Outreach Project, a special effort mounted by the Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development program to improve diversity in statewide 4-H activities, has won national recognition.

The project received the National Diversity Award, sponsored by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, at the group's 55th annual conference held recently in Bismarck, S.D. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity in Extension 4-H youth programs.

"This award speaks very well of the efforts OSU 4-H staff have made in reaching out to all cultures through our 4-H programs," said Jim Rutledge, OSU 4-H program leader.

"It's a great way of recognizing and thanking all staff who have worked so hard on this project," added Beverly Hobbs, 4-H Youth Extension specialist, and director of the project.

The Oregon Outreach Project is focused on increasing the ability of the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program to connect with and involve the Latino community in Oregon. The project started in 1997 in response to the rapid growth of Oregon's Hispanic/Latino population through the 1990s. It was funded by a $791,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"The project helps provide the staff and resources needed to design and conduct 4-H Youth programs aimed at Latino children and youth in our state," Hobbs explained. "As a result, we have been able to offer several new programs such as the Web Wizards 4-H Project, which introduces 4-H members to computer technology and web page design."

Now in its fifth year, the Oregon Outreach Project has been very effective in building relationships and trust with Latino communities in Oregon, according to Hobbs. "The project has enriched the entire OSU 4-H program and strengthened its ability to serve all Oregon youth," she said.



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Beverly Hobbs, 541-737-1319