The Difference We Make

Urban Extension Programs

Improving Small Ruminant Producer Operations

  • 834 regional goat and sheep producers received training on how to improve small ruminant operations, gaining new knowledge, increasing efficiency, improving herd health, and increasing profitability 5% to 20%.

Sharpening Skills for 21st Century Job Hunts

  • 1,064 participants in 15 urban counties enhanced their job search skills with the Promoting Readiness for Employment Possibilities tool kit. 71 participants found jobs and 601 developed a current resume.
  • 73% learned to conduct an effective online interview and complete digital job applications.

Finding Tools for Financial Stability

  • 3,000 learned responsible money management skills to avoid financial risks, indebtedness, and bankruptcy.
  • Also taught were the basics of opening checking and savings accounts and developing a spending plan for financial stability.

Building the Foundation for Bright Futures

  • 4,400 high school students participated in 26 Career Countdown sessions focusing on education and career goals and becoming proactive in preparing for the future.
  • The Virtual Entrepreneurship Center helps participants apply for micro-grants to start or expand business operations. Among 59 candidates, 14 reported that they had either started a new business or used the information to significantly expand an existing business, and 7 received a micro-grant.

Helping Seniors Make Wise Life Decisions

  • 147,450 older adults and caregivers learned about complicated issues related to aging. Through Seniors Can, for example, 136 participants in Madison County developed three critical legal documents: a will, a power of attorney, and a health care proxy.

Strengthening Family Bonds

National family and consumer scientists will agree that strong families spend quality time together, and know how to communicate, listen, and handle conflict well.
  • Family Advocacy through Caring Engagement Strategies helped strengthen family bonds among 391 participants. 109 reported spending more time with their families, held open discussions about family dynamics, included children in financial decisions, and used newly learned negotiation skills to deal with family conflicts.
  • 148,000 Alabama children under 18 live with grandparents or other relatives. The Grand Relatives as Parents Program helped more than 3,000 grandparents and relative caregivers learn to discuss feelings, reduce stress, identify nontraditional discipline methods, and get outside professional help in dealing with grandchildren or young relatives in the home.

Working Together for a Cleaner Environment

Alabama Extension is making tremendous strides in protecting our natural resources and reducing harm to humans and wildlife from water, air, and soil pollutants, including electronic waste.
  • 335 homeowners in Alabama Urban Home*A*Syst workshops learned to identify, avoid, and eliminate environmental risks , such as water quality and runoff as well as proper hazardous waste disposal. Within 180 days, 75% adopted at least two best environmental management practices, and 81% felt the program helped them achieve a hazardous-free home and save money.
  • 10,753 pounds of electronic waste recycled in 2014 through the E-Waste Institute.
  • 1,503 pounds of printer cartridges and cell phones recycled through the Funding Factory, a nonprofit agency that helps organizations convert e-waste into real dollars. This e-waste effort led to the reclamation of 425 pounds of copper, steel, and aluminum, and earned the E-Waste Institute $747 for future programming.
  • The Synergistic Efforts to Reduce Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Program helps individuals reduce the harmful environmental impact of pharmaceutical drugs. A follow-up survey among 35 participants indicated that 88% no longer put unused drugs in the trash and 84% had achieved their environmental expectation of protecting the environment from pharmaceutical drug contamination.

Leading Young People to Healthy, Productive Futures

  • Reducing Drug Use among Teens. In 2014, Alabama Health Rocks!® educated more than 19,370 young people about peer pressure, stress, making wise decisions, and developing positive values. 95 percent increased knowledge of tobacco and drug use risks and learned social skills to reduce these habits.
  • Extension Volunteers Are VIPs. 509 individuals volunteered in urban programs, providing 11,527 service hours valued at $259,933.85, based on an hourly rate of $ 22.55. Urban Extension continues to manage the Service Learning Network at Alabama A&M University, and in 2014, 3,523 students contributed 62,070 hours to 89 agencies—a value of $1.3 million.
  • Engaging Students in STEM Disciplines. 140 students were introduced to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through college students and professionals working in these careers. STEM Day and other activities on the AAMU campus helped 73% increase their knowledge in forensic science, 61% in science careers, and 56% in water conservation. 34% said they would pursue a science career.
  • Teens Making Impacts. In 2014, Teens Making Impacts reached more than 411 students. 49% made healthy eating choices, 83% became more physically active, 81% managed stress better, 91% considered life-changing decisions, 82% knew what careers they want to pursue, and 94% set new goals.

Saving Gallons and Gallons for Irrigation

  • 2,629 individuals learned about water conservation through Water Wheels, a mobile water conservation laboratory. 284 rain barrels were installed in 2014—up from 249 barrels in 2013. The potential water conserved with one inch of rainfall using 284 60-gallon rain barrels is approximately 17,040 gallons for irrigating noncommercial gardens.

Getting on the Right Track to Good Health

Urban Extension is making tremendous strides in helping young people and adults develop healthier lifestyles to combat obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.
  • 245 adults increased physical activity and ate more fruits and vegetables through Community Health Aerobic Motivational Program Initiating Optimal Nutrition (CHAMPION). 149 young people indicated that 50% continued to eat more vegetables and 73% more fruit, while 59% engaged in physical activity at least three to five times a week.
  • Through the Urban Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (UEFNEP) primarily targeting Hispanic audiences, Urban Extension reached 142 young people. 96% followed the American Dietary Guidelines, 67% practiced food safety more often, and 65% engaged in weekly physical activity. Among the 88 adult participants, 77% planned meals in advance, 49% prepared foods without adding salt, 80% read food labels more often, and 52% reported that their children ate breakfast more often.
  • 350 young people in Urban SNAP-Ed increased their knowledge of basic nutrition from 76% to 94%, their level of physical activity from 54% to 63%, and their ability to control motional overeating went from 29% to 60%. 1,327 adults indicated an increase in daily physical activity and in following MyPlate and American Dietary Guidelines.