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Families, communities, schools, and organizations support successful transition of our nation’s youth into adulthood. Young people’s development requires relationships, experiences, and an environment in which they feel safe and valued. They also need access to educational and community resources that foster their skills and abilities.  

Importance of Youth Development

NIFA, working with other federal agencies, supports programs to help young people recognize their strengths and define their goals. Positive youth development programs involve young people in ways that enhance talents and encourage positive outcomes. NIFA-sponsored youth initiatives seek to prepare youth for life and work by:

  • Meeting young people’s developmental needs
  • Providing positive engagement
  • Building competencies and skills

NIFA’s Impact

NIFA works to advance and promote research-based youth development by providing services such as:

  • Building capacity of partner organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate high-quality youth development programs
  • Collaborating with other federal agencies to coordinate federal youth-based policies and programs
  • Supporting state and national projects, initiatives, and partnerships to strengthen the science-based approaches in neighborhoods and communities
  • Supporting youth development research 
  • Providing leadership to the 4-H youth program

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