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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension



BuckeyeNext image

BuckeyeNext provides clearly defined pathways to 4-H community clubs, project-specific events, and programs available for Ohio young people. Built like a game, the program is fun, engaging, and impactful. It gives youth a way to quickly identify the opportunities available through Ohio 4-H, organize their categories of participation, and track their cumulative progress in real-time.


What's the value?

  • Develop the ability to apply career-readiness skills in pursuing "what's next" after completing 4-H and graduating high school.
  • Earn points and badges by tracking your 4-H experience, participating in Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future events and programs, and simultaneously refining your employability skills.
  • This approach will amplify the Ohio 4-H experiences so that you can equip them with the knowledge, experiences, and habits critical to achieving success in the "real world."
  • Utilize the platform as an electronic portfolio for 4-H achievement award applications, scholarships, post-secondary applications, and more.

Program Overview

BuckeyeNext comprises activities, events, and project-specific opportunities available through Ohio 4-H. Each activity is associated with points, badges, and levels.

Participants receive points for completing an activity. The standings are updated on a leaderboard where they can compete with their peers.

Achievement Badges
To complete activities, participants can earn achievement badges in various categories. Badges exist for levels, competencies, events, programs, and more.

Exclusively featured with BuckeyeNext:

  • CareerNEXT
  • MikeRowe Foundation Work Ethic

Through the community club experience, activities can be completed across different competencies, and 4-H youth can "level up" to a high level. Activities completed at the higher levels earn more points.

  • Spark (Level 1) - The starting point for discovering personal skills, talents, interests, or special qualities that you are passionate about. We call these things SPARKS in 4-H.
  • Engagement (Level 2) - Sparks spur you to participate in 4-H opportunities and build your networks of peers (and caring adults) who share the same interests! We want you to CREATE your 4-H experience around your spark through local and regional opportunities.
  • Growth (Level 3) - The "fuel" that powers you to grow and build new skills through your 4-H experience and overcome barriers that stand in your way. We want you to continue to GROW within your 4-H experience around your spark through local and regional opportunities.
  • Mastery (Level 4) - We want all youth to THRIVE! Pursuing your sparks will motivate you to succeed, stay out of trouble, and help you demonstrate how you've mastered a skill or learned new knowledge throughout your 4-H experience. Our hope is that your 4-H experience has allowed you to master a set of skills, a talent, or a special quality while pursuing something you are interested in. It may lead you to a desired career path or help you become positive catalysts in your community!
  • Expert (Level 5) - You've mastered it all, but we encourage you to continue to pursue your spark and become a lifelong learner! Engaging in your sparks contributes to a greater sense of purpose in life, greater optimism, and higher self-esteem. We hope your 4-H experience has helped you feel a sense of having a place in the world!


NACE Career Readiness Competencies

Developed from the National Association of Colleges and Employers' research-based career readiness competencies, Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future created a program to introduce Ohio 4-H youth to a successful transition into "what's next?" after 4-H and high school.

  • Career & Self-Development
  • Proactively develop oneself and one's career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one's organization.
  • Communication
  • Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside an organization.
  • Critical Thinking
    Using strategies to analyze and evaluate assists in the decision of what to believe.
  • Equity & Inclusion
    Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to engage equitably and include people from different local and global cultures.
  • Leadership
    Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.
  • Professionalism
    Demonstrates adequate behaviors in all environments, understands and demonstrates effective work habits, and acts in the interest of the larger community and workplace.
  • Teamwork
    Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.
  • Technology
    Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.




4-H members, are you ready explore your path with BuckeyeNext?

If you're an Ohio 4-H member AND currently in 8th grade or above, you already have an account! 

Please instead use your 4HOnline ID number and add

To locate your 4HOnline ID number, navigate to Family Home page on 4HOnline. Copy the number directly next to your name.  All correspondences will go to the email you have on file in the 4HOnline system. Please see example below:

correct format for email

If you are having difficulty locating your 4HOnline ID number, please contact Margo Overholt-Seckel at For any other technical difficulties, please contact



NOTE: If you'd like to start an account, before 8th grade, please send an email to Margo Overholt-Seckel at Please include first and last name, county, and 4HOnline ID number.