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Promoting Economic Prosperity

Project #1: Improved College and Career Readiness

Additional funding secured for research and education (during review period): ~ $2.5 million

Impact: This project contributed to the following condition change: improved college readiness. These measured and anticipated outcomes demonstrate improved knowledge and skills, as well as increased positive attitudes related to college and careers. Additionally, the measured outcomes demonstrate that educators and practitioners also gained new knowledge, learned skills, and developed positive attitudes towards increasing marginalized youth access to and participation in youth college and career readiness programs. These outcomes led to policy, systems, and environmental changes that reduced barriers to youth participation. While many of the youth participants are still in primary and secondary school, several youth members have graduated and entered college programs. From these experiences, we can infer that more youth participants across the country will enter college as a result of these programs. Collectively these efforts contribute to the UC ANR public value: promoting economic prosperity.



Support, Source & Duration

Outputs and Outcomes

4-Youth Development Programs(SLO/SB): Served as local PI and provided academic oversight & guidance; conducted program evaluation

·  UC CalFresh Nutrition Education

·  Local Community-Based Organizations

·  Program Volunteers

·  California 4-H Foundation


I increased County support by 0.5 FTE annually

~ $136,000  during review period

Other Funds Raised:

>$1 million


Service Value:

>$3.5 million annually,

1,973 volunteers


10/2015 – 06/2018


Funding Source:

San Luis Obispo County; Various Donors; local and statewide Foundations

Prior research demonstrates that youth that participate in 4-H are 25% more likely to contribute to their families, themselves, and their communities; more likely to see themselves going to college; and 41% less likely to engage in risk/problem behavior than other youth. During the review period,

·       Total youth enrollment in SLO County increased from 1,615 in 14/15 to 5,189 in 17/18.

·       Latino enrollment increased from 17% in 14/15 to 41% of total youth enrolled in 17/18 in SLO County.

·       Total youth enrollment in SB County remained high, with 11,916 enrolled in 14/15 to 13,409 youth in 17/18.

·       Latino enrollment increased from 73.7% in 14/15 to 88.7% of total youth enrolled in 17/18 in SB County.

These results suggest that with more youth participating in 4-H, the community is likely to benefit from engaged youth, who are interested in pursuing college degrees.


Science Literacy and Leadership:  Served as PI and provided academic oversight & guidance; conducted program evaluation

·  4-H YDP, SLO

·  Local Community-Based Organizations



07/2014 – 10/2015


Funding Source:

Women’s Legacy Fund, San Luis Obispo Community Foundation

·       SLO County offered 4 new SLO Scientist programs, providing 37.0 hours of science literacy education over 20 weeks.

·       Participants reported an increase in job skill attainment (70%), leadership skills (95%), science skills (90%), and teamwork skills (80%).

·       Additionally, 95% of participants indicated that the program helped them contribute to their communities.

·       This led to a successful and sustainable partnership with YouthWorks, a housing authority program serving low-income, predominately Latino youth.

·       This research showed success for a new programming model for reaching Latina (and other underserved) youth countywide, by creating science teams of youth and teen mentor.

4-H Latino Initiative:

Research collaborator; provided academic oversight & guidance;  conducted program evaluation


·  UC CalFresh Nutrition Education

·  6 CA Counties

Estimated Additional local funds



07/2015 – 06/2018


Funding Source:


·       Research comparing the outcomes between traditional community club participation and    4-H Latino Initiative participation suggests that “4-H Latino Initiative program may provide similar youth development outcomes and program experiences, regardless of ethnicity” (Worker et al, 2019).

·       Experiences shared by our six new bilingual and bicultural staff demonstrated positive benefits of being able to speak the language of the population the initiative sought to reach. These benefits included improved ability to form relationships, communicate more easily with parents, and navigate community norms.

·       At the same time, bilingual, bicultural staff may need additional support to learn and navigate the 4-H culture.

·       Development of a peer-reviewed toolkit to assist other counties and states in developing Latino-serving programs.

4-H Military Partnership Grant:  Served as local PI and provided academic oversight & guidance; conducted program evaluation

·  Vandenberg Air Force Base Youth Center Director

·  Statewide 4-H



07/2015 – 06/2018


Funding Source:

4-H National Council; Army, Air Force, and Navy Child and Youth Services

As a result of participating, youth:

·       Built community awareness

·       Improved teambuilding

·       Made a positive difference in their community

·       Increased understanding of physics, flight, dynamics, engineering design, remote sensing, and computer coding.


UCCE Cy Pres Award, Money Talks Workgroup, Statewide YFC Program:

Served as PI and provided academic oversight & guidance;  conducted program evaluation

·  Emerita Academics

·  Money Talks Workgroup

·  Academic Coordinator,  Money Talks Workgroup

·  Community Education Specialist III



02/2016 – 01/2022


Funding Source:

Credit/Debit Card Trying Cases Cy Pres Fund

Prior research found that teens, who completed the Money Talks curriculum showed a statistically significant knowledge gain and a positive change in money management behavior. Building off the success of this program, the workgroup is developing two new modules (6 participant guides and 4 leaders’ guides) to assist youth who will be “living on my own” for the first time. The anticipated outcomes are:

·       Increased knowledge gain related to renting, monthly household budgets, and eating healthy on a budget

·       Positive changes in money management behaviors.

4-H Career Pathways Initiative:

Served as PI and provided academic oversight & guidance;  conducted program evaluation


·  4-H YDP, SLO/SB

·  National 4-H

·  Lockheed Martin

·  YouthWorks

·  UC CalFresh Nutrition

· CalPoly State University, SLO

· Texas State 4-H

·  Maryland State 4-H



05/2016 – 04/2018


Funding Source:

National 4-H



·       Engaged 5,143 youth in 16/17, including 17 peer educators and 7,549 youth in 17/18, including 29 peer educators.

·       95.3% of participants “think science will be important in their future”

·       96.8% of youth reporting “they are now good at science.”

·       Youth participants in SLO/SB emphasized the value of having strong adult partnerships in 4-H STEM activities.

·       National program evaluations showed that SLO/SB received the highest cumulative scores for youth relationship building, youth participation, and STEM staff instructional practices.

·     Five Latina 4-H members completed 4-H sponsored internships or advanced education, each receiving over 180 hours of advanced STEM experiences. They reported: 1) higher levels of confidence in exploring STEM pathways and 2) feel they can “weigh the pros and cons of future college options.”

·     The national research findings indicated “that the 4-H Career Pathway shows promise for empowering youth to achieve the attitudes, aspirations, and skills needed for successful STEM careers. The initiative also produced a number of best practices for STEM education, career exploration, and engagement of girls and underrepresented youth” (Donaldson & Franck, 2019).

Project #2: Increased Workforce Retention

Impact:  This project contributed to the following condition change: improved workforce retention. The anticipated outcomes of this project include improved knowledge and skills, as well as increased positive attitudes related to retaining a diversified workforce. Decision-makers implemented policy, systems, and environmental changes (such as installing gender inclusive restroom signs) that reduced barriers for employees with marginalized identities, which increases individual’s earning potential, while supporting workforce retention and diversity. For example, LGBTQ+ individuals experience higher rates of economic disparity, including low wage earning potential, underemployment, and unemployment as a result of discriminatory work practices and hostile work environments (Lourdes, McGovern, & Sutherland, 2018). However, research by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation (2019) indicates that companies that are inclusive to LGBTQ+ employees, “can attract and retain better talent.” Next steps for this project are to reach more institutions throughout the nation. From the cited studies, we can infer that as more institutions throughout the nation incorporate inclusive policies for gender diversity, sexual orientation, lactation, religion, and race/ethnicity, they will increase their workforce retention, while supporting increased economic equality for marginalized populations. In this way, UC ANR contributes to the public value: promoting economic prosperity.



Support, Source & Duration

Outputs and Outcomes

Promoting Institutional Change to Increase Inclusion and Diversity:

Researcher and educator; conducted evaluation


·  4-H Statewide Program

·  County of SLO

·  Community Organizations

·  Local schools

No additional local funding


07/2018 – Ongoing

·       Supported improved public policies, environments, and systems to facilitate the inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQ+ individuals

·       Provided training and resources to support implementation of new CA laws LGBTQ+ supporting implementation of CA laws (i.e. non-binary legal gender option; gender inclusive restroom signage)

·       Applied the socio-ecological model to explain levels of influence and how decision-makers in institutions can take steps at multiple levels to create sustainable changes

Supporting Lactating Employees:  provided academic oversight & guidance


·  Breastfeeding Coalition of the Central Coast

·  UCCE, SLO/SB team members

·  SLO County, HR






SLO County, Risk and Safety Services

·       Developed educational blog post to support UC ANR (as well as our agricultural clientele) in understanding and being in compliance with AB1976, supporting lactating employees who work in the field.

·       Worked with a UCCE team to develop inclusive, Family Friendly Environment guidelines for our offices and workspaces, as well as provide functional lactation rooms.

·       Supported SLO County Board of Supervisors resolution proclaiming August as “World Breastfeeding Awareness Month.”

·       Supported other County departments and organizations in modifying these materials for their own businesses.