4-H: Empowering a Nation of True Leaders – Part 1

By _Amaya_Collins_ December 22, 2015

California 4-H

Erika is a California 4-H volunteer and a mother of two children who both participate in 4-H. Here’s her story:

“4-H is very important to me, and gives me the opportunity to help my community. It is also an opportunity to support my two children in educational programs. I volunteer at many events in my community and I try to set a good example to my children. Sharing with others our time and talents is the best way to help! . . . We have two clubs and our vision is to open more! Ours is a small community with a large number of Hispanic and low-income students; 4-H will help many families!


"El programa ayudara a muchas familias. ¡GRACIAS 4-H!" - Erika, California 4-H

Kyle is a Delaware 4-H alum who is currently majoring in agribusiness:

4-H has impacted Kyle’s life in many ways. It has given him the direction and guidance to work toward and achieve his goals. Kyle comes from what is considered to be an underserved community. His influence in that community and school has been felt throughout by achieving goals only hard work and determination can achieve. He has a powerful work ethic that has encouraged his fellow club members to reach for higher goals and accomplishments that is felt throughout his community. Kyle is well known in Sussex County for his many accomplishments and is an example to all young people that setting goals and working toward them can be done.

Georgia 4-H
Georgia 4-H’ers participated in great programming like Mentor Up, Citizenship Washington Focus, and Health Rocks!:Ka’Shawn attended Citizenship Washington Focus in 2014, and from that experience felt he would like to pursue a career in politics. Since his trip, he has been growing his leadership through taking on roles in 4-H by getting involved with his STEM Robotics club, becoming a junior Camp counselor at 4-H Healthy Living & STEM summer camps and at his local high school.
Royce, an Idaho 4-H’er, has served the Coeur d’Alene community for two years as a 4-H Food Smart Families teen advocate.
“Kids watch a lot of TV these days, so I like being able to teach them about how nutrition and healthy living can be fun too. I volunteer for Coeur d’Alene for Kids, and because of 4-H I have become a better mentor to them, and they look up to me more. I’ve had a hard time with public speaking—I’ve been shy. Being in this program, I’ve been able to break through that shell and it’s easier for me to talk to new people now.”
"Being in this program, I’ve been able to break through that shell and it’s easier for me to talk to new people now." - Royce, Idaho 4-H
Iowa 4-H and college student, Allison, stays involved in 4-H by serving as a 4-H club leader:
“4-H has been and still is so much more than a club or program, it is my true love, and when I was younger it was finally somewhere I could fit in and be myself, which is still true today. The most important thing that 4-H ever gave me was the confidence to believe in myself. This may not seem like much, but to me it was everything as it helped me through many difficult situations that I have struggled with in my life, including my life long fight with obesity. I have also had the great fortune to be one of five individuals from across the U.S. to serve on the National 4-H Healthy Living Team as a youth ambassador, specializing in nutrition, healthy eating, and weight management . . . Being chosen to join this team and represent 4-H, healthy living, the United States, and Iowa is the most humbling opportunity I have ever been given.”

"4-H has been and still is so much more than a club or program, it is my true love." - Allison, Iowa 4-H

Here is the story of Alexis, a Louisiana 4-H'er:
“This past year was the first year I became a member of the Louisiana State 4-H Food and Fitness Board. Being on this board has allowed me to further my knowledge and experience of living a healthy lifestyle. Coping with an injury throughout the past year, I could no long be as physically active as I used to, so I had to find ways to stay healthy. The Food and Fitness Board helped me discover new ways to do just that . . . The Food and Fitness Board has used the grant to plan events as well as go to different events to meet new people and go to new places. This helped increase my social skills and made me the well-rounded 4-H leader I am today.”

"This helped increase my social skills and made me the well-rounded 4-H leader I am today." - Alexis, Louisiana 4-H

Baltimore, Maryland 4-H
4-H’ers in Baltimore participated in Health Rocks!:
Baltimore has been regrouping and recovering from the recent April uprisings. Our youth have been put in some unsettling environments. As a result, the Health Rocks! curriculum has been such a precious gift per several of the parents and grandparents. We had the opportunity and privilege to spend quality time with those youth who normally would just hang out in the community. However, with rec centers closed they were eager to attend 4-H. The structured program provided has ignited youth old and young to come together and work the plan as they plan to work hard to be constructive and not destructive. Healthy lifestyle and healthy life choices has been included in their summer days, afternoons, and after school hours.
Michigan 4-H’er and active teen leader Ryan shares his story of 4-H leadership:
“4-H is important to me for several reasons. First of all, it is an opportunity for me to build skills in leadership, public speaking, showmanship, and many other categories. From singing my heart out as a camp counselor, to presenting projects and information to large groups, to properly showing a chicken to the head of the American Poultry Association, I’ve gained a lot of experience in real world situations and can now use that experience in the future.”