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University of Minnesota Extension

Jessica Russo

Extension educator

Jessica Russo

Jessica is an associate Extension professor with Extension Youth Development. She leads program growth and innovation in Minnesota's central region, with an emphasis on building staff and volunteer capacity to conduct and lead local program planning in communities with high concentrations of diversity. She is also principal investigator for the Minnesota Urban Youth Lead 4-H Mentoring Program, a grant from National 4-H and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Jessica is a certified language arts teacher and a naturalist and has worked with youth in public, private and alternative schools, in both formal and nonformal settings across the US since 1997.

Academic degrees and experience

Selected publications

Skuza, J.A. & Russo, J.P. (2018). WeConnect: A global youth citizenship curriculum (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota.

Skuza, J., Russo, J., Meyer, R. (2018). A field guide to program planning in youth development. University of Minnesota Extension: St. Paul, MN.

Landrieu, J., & Russo, J.P. (2014). “The What, How, and Why of 21st Century Urban Youth Development.” Reclaiming Children and Youth, 23.3, 48-52.

Russo, J.P. (2012). “Big urban woods 4-H club.” In Ripberger, c., & Blalock, L. B. 4-H science in urban communities promising practices guide.

Skuza, J., & Russo, J. (2008). Capturing youth voice to assess learning in urban youth development programs. Journal of Youth Development 2 (3).

Skuza, J., Russo, J., Gates, E., Kawase, M. (2007). Urban youth lead: Becoming the authors of their lives. St. Paul: Regents of the University of Minnesota.


Urban Youth Development Office, St. Paul

Reviewed in 2019

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