University Honors College - The Honorable mention

4-H Tech Wizards Program 2017

Posted by Tim on February 6, 2017 in Academics, New Programs

Dear Potential Mentor,

At Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County (CCE-EC) and through its 4-H Youth Development

program, we strive to engage youth in programming that encourage them to build life skills that prepare

them to contribute in meaningful ways in their communities, now and in the future. A major part of

their growth is having caring adults serving as mentors to help support their development. Mentors

gain real-life experience by addressing community needs and broadening their exposure to public

service issues.

CCE-EC, in collaboration with National 4-H and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

Prevention, will be running a mentoring program, entitled Tech Wizards, which will utilize science,

engineering, and technology to engage youth and address issues in their communities. We are currently

recruiting mentors (unpaid) to volunteer their time to work with a group of 4 students (collectively) for

a 1-hour session, once a week. Mentors that work during this period will have the opportunity to work

with youth (ages 8-17; most are under 12) on Monday and/or Wednesday between 4:30 – 5:30 PM at

the Seneca Babcock Community Center (1168 Seneca Street, Buffalo 14210). Sessions will be at this

site as opposed to mentees and mentors arranging to meet at outside locations. However, there will be

occasional outings where all mentors and mentees will come together for group events. We are open to

exploring how this timing can work with your schedule.

Although it could be beneficial for our mentors to have some knowledge of science, engineering, and

technology topics, it is not required since we will be providing training in both mentoring and the

programming topics we will explore. In fact, a willingness to learn alongside the youth is more

important than being an expert on the topics.

An initial Mentor Orientation and ongoing training opportunities will be provided for the volunteer

mentors who support students through this program. The orientation will be arranged to work at a

time and location suitable for our mentors. Please contact me for details.

If you or someone you know would like to seize upon this opportunity to positively impact the lives of

several Buffalo youth in the 4-H Tech Wizards Program, I can be contacted at 716-773-4654 (Tuesday-
Friday) or 716-652-5400 x 140 (Mondays) or via e-mail at


Volunteer Job Description

4-H Tech Wizards Mentor

Purpose: To create supportive learning environments in which diverse youth and adults reach

their fullest potential as capable, competent, and caring citizens. Provide positive mentoring to a

4-H program participant while enhancing his/her knowledge in the area of Science, Technology,

Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM).


 Act as a positive role model for the young people you work with, setting high expectations

for those youth

 Empower youth to find their voice, get involved in STEM and future projects

 Help youth find solutions to community problems

 Be sensitive to the needs of the youth you work with

 Become familiar with families, program manager, other mentors and supporters

 Communicate concerns, challenges and solutions with program manager and families

 Help kids connect with new opportunities

 Be knowledgeable of and aware of the resources available for STEM

 Lead project activities and teach related skills in the area of STEM

 Follow all Cornell Cooperative Extension-Erie County (CCE-EC) youth protection and risk

management policies, emergency procedures, youth and adult Code of Conduct

Expected Results: 4-H program participants will be matched with a fully-trained mentor who will

work with them one-on-one or in small groups during program time to help them develop STEM

and life skills. Participants will report feeling supported by their mentor and will continue to take

part in programs for at least 1 year.

Training and Support:

 Mentors skills will be assessed and utilized

 On-going support from program manager and lead volunteers (debriefs, email groups, list

serves, advisory boards and/or one-on-one meetings with staff)

 Mentor training series

 Access to materials, resources and equipment to conduct programming

 Leadership opportunities and ability to learn from others


Helping You Put Knowledge to Work

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County provides equal program and employment opportunities.

21 South Grove St.

East Aurora, NY 14052



 To be determined by site

Time Commitment: A minimum commitment of 1 year to work with at least 1 afterschool

program group per week (sessions are 1 hour each).


 Enjoys working with youth Sincere interest in the growth and development of the youth in the program Interest in the designated subject area Willingness to learn Ability to work with other adults and to organize and coordinate with other people Effective communication, organization, and interpersonal skills Commitment to follow-through on program schedule Ability to understand and implement Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development policies, procedures, risk management guidelines, youth and adult Code of


 Act as a positive role model for youth, practicing appropriate behavior (including dress) Ability to recognize youth for their abilities, skills and personal accomplishments Ability to show sensitivity to the needs of the youth and families involved in the program Willingness and availability to attend trainings  Interest in developing community partnerships


 Opportunity to share a passion and skill with others Enhance personal leadership and organizational skills Build friendships with other volunteers and staff Derive satisfaction from helping youth reach their greatest potential

Level of Background Screening Required:

 Application form Criminal Background Check and NYS Sex Offender Check (note: this is required for all enrolled volunteers when responsibilities include unsupervised work with minors, individuals over 65, or individuals with disabilities)