Standing in the presence of Jennifer Nettles, Aubrey Plaza, and Anne Burrell while the cameras flashed and smiles beamed all across the room was only a sliver of my unforgettable Youth in Action experience. While standing on the “green” carpet, I was taken aback by the surrealism of this honor and award.
Three years ago, I was a timid 4‑H’er who found my niche as the first Healthy Living Officer. Fast forward a few years and the Color Me Green Run became an annual event. My involvement at the state level allowed me to host a Health Fair at the State Leadership Conference, as well as hosting a statewide mental health conversation called Text Talk Act. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that my work would be recognized nationally. It’s been a blessing in my small hometown of Imperial as more attention has been focused on combatting our high obesity rates. Best of all, I have the privilege of serving as a national spokesperson to promote healthy lifestyles.
To you, the reader: I encourage you to discover your passion in 4‑H as I have. Commit yourself to your club, your community, your country, and even the world. Our 4‑H pledge is a promise not only to better ourselves, but to serve those around us. The Youth in Action award will be the culmination of your engagement, and I guarantee it will be an opportunity like no other. Where else can you meet distinguished 4‑H alumni who may even compliment your dress? Where else can you spend time practicing with a teleprompter as 4‑H directors provide you with positive feedback on your speech? Where else can you dine in the fanciest hotel while conversing with Molina Healthcare and other generous sponsors? The 4‑H Youth in Action experience has broadened my horizons to the 4‑H program. This opportunity has allowed me to meet other winners from across the nation who made this event ten thousand times more memorable. Above all, this award has taught me professional skills that will last a lifetime, and I will always cherish the memories of the entire 4‑H Youth in Action experience.