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Program Work Teams

Cornell Cooperative Extension Program Work Teams (PWT) are communities of learning and practice that focus on specific Extension areas and issues. PWTs bring Cornell faculty and staff, CCE educators, industry members, and stakeholders together to collaborate and innovate. Below are the relevant PWTs for those working in Youth Development. View the full PWT list here.


4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Recent Activity: 4-H STEM educator professional development events, sponsored activities for 4-H youth,

4-H STEM/New York State Library Summer Reading Program collaboration, National 4-H STEM Challenge kits, and training. 

2024 Solar Eclipse Pre-Party

2024 4-H STEM Adventures – Summer Reading Surprises  

Co-Chair(s)Kandis FreerSusan Hoskins, and Alexa Maille


Risk and Thriving in Adolescence

The Program Work Team Risk and Thriving in Adolescence seeks to identify and develop resources to support and build the capacity of youth work professionals in 4-H and other community agencies working with young people. The PWT has developed several educational toolkits and training material focused on adolescent development, positive youth development, social and emotional learning, and creating inclusive program environments for youth.

Co-Chair(s)Rachel Williams and Heather Wynkoop Beach

Teenagers on Mobile phone
Risk & Thriving PWT
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Youth, Nature & the Outdoor Environment (YNOE)

The YNOE helps to promote and enhance the needs of 4-H Natural Resources in identifying Cornell and land-grant university curriculum, outreach, and research efforts that can be applied to everyday environmental education programs.


YNOE conducts several teleconferences and in-person PD meetings to help identify issues.  The program offers professional development opportunities, project/resource sharing sessions, and also events for youth to learn in.  

More information about events, curricula, and professional development opportunities here.

Co-Chair(s)Teresa AdellErica Clark, and Dr. Keith Tidball


4-H Food Systems

The 4-H Food Systems Program Work Team is a collaborative workspace that addresses food systems holistically in terms of health, environmental, social, and economic aspects to help 4-H Educators engage youth in activities and conversations surrounding our food system. The purpose is for youth to recognize connections within the bigger picture, analyze the consequences of the food system, and engage in social issues, which will lead to an understanding of sustainability while becoming more responsible consumers and citizens. 

Co-Chairs: Dr. Mingla Charoenmuang and Michael Fiorentino

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4-H Food Systems PWT

Youth Healthy Eating and Active Living (Y-HEAL)

The team’s long-term foundation in nutrition and fitness remains central to our focus amid the country’s obesity crisis and accompanying long-term health issues. In addition, the team supports a holistic focus on social-emotional wellness and youth mental health, from cultivating mindfulness practices to considering issues of bullying and identity development. Another focus is enhancing worksite wellness in CCE, broadly defined, as we seek to model and support holistic wellness in our work.

Co-Chairs: Dr. Mingla Charoenmuang and Kathryn Ripstein


4-H Strengthening Youth and Adult Communication

The mission of this program work team is to serve as an advisory group for the development of 4-H communication-related curriculum and to liaise to the 4-H Communication Institute event held at Cornell University. 


Eastman Rice Scholars are undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell who design workshops based on the 4-H communication curriculum and judge the event.

Co-Chairs: Dr. Neil Lewis, Jr and Jamila Walida Simon

Youth Speaking at Event
4-H Communication PWT
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Civic Engagement

The mission of the civic engagement program work team is to offer professional development experiences for CCE educators that are timely and relevant to their annual experiences. Our responsive professional development experiences have spoken to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, food insecurity, and youth voice. 

Co-Chair: Jamila Walida Simon

Civic Engagement PWT
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