Wednesday, May 28, 2014

4-H: Life Smarts

by Arielle Gerstein

The LifeSmarts Consumer Education for Teenagers Program creates savvy consumers and develops marketplace skills among teens in a fun and engaging format. Complementing high school curricula, Lifesmarts is run as a game-show style competition for 9th through 12th grade students. Jaime Brown is the 4-H extension agent who coordinates the program.

McKinley Tech
Jaime has always wanted to work with youth and currently runs the LifeSmarts program, which teaches life skills to high-school youth. Teams of five compete at the local level for a chance to compete at the national competition. LifeSmarts education focuses on:  
  1. personal finance
  2. health and safety
  3. technology
  4. consumer rights and responsibilities
  5. environment.
For the last three years in a row, McKinley Technology Education Campus has won the DC state competition.
Jaime also runs a girl’s group in Ward 7 called Gem and Jewels.  The group, newly formed in February 2014, focuses on the girls’ self-esteem.  Every week approximately 15-20 girls meet and participate in different activities including life-skills like cooking and sewing, community service, gardening, jewelry-making, and pampering.  

In addition, she is also in charge of a youth group at the Riverside Center, also in Ward 7.  Boys and girls, ages 8 to 13 participate in photography, gardening, arts and crafts, and tae kwon do. Her future goals as an extension agent include introducing her youth groups to bike repair as a small business option and becoming less reliant on cars as they get older for sustainable city living. In addition, she would like to showcase her programs and other 4-H programs in local DC expos.

A UDC alum with an undergraduate degree in administration and justice and a master’s degree in public administration, Jaime has worked for UDC for the past seven years. She is always looking for volunteers to fill a variety of roles.  If you have a skill you would like to share with one of her youth groups (short-term or longer-term), please contact for more information. For more information on LifeSmarts, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment