Columbia– Missouri 4-H has received $75,000 from Healthy Blue’s affiliated Foundation to help young people across the state explore colleges and careers. The grant has been awarded to the Missouri 4-H Foundation, the private resource partner of the MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. Healthy Blue is a Medicaid product administered by Missouri Care Inc. under contract with the Missouri Department of Social Services.

Developed by the University of Missouri Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, the 4-H Youth Futures College Within Reach program is a college orientation program that includes ongoing local mentoring, campus visits and a conference on the MU campus.

“This generous grant from Healthy Blue’s affiliated Foundation will allow us to expand the 4-H Youth Futures program statewide by offering 4-H Youth Futures Special Interest Clubs in every region of Missouri,” said Donna Garcia, state 4-H youth development specialist.

The 4-H Youth Futures SPIN Club is a six-week program that allows youths learn about higher education options, the steps necessary to enroll in college and explore possible majors and career options. , Garcia says the goal is to introduce 4-H SPIN Club members to the yearlong Youth Futures program in an effort to increase high school graduation rates and enhance workforce development efforts for Missouri.

For more information about the 4-H Youth Futures SPIN Club program and other online and in-person 4-H programming, visit