The smiles on the faces of the children I work with is reward enough, but receiving the 4‑H Youth in Action Healthy Living Pillar Award was incredibly humbling and inspiring. I’m grateful to live in a community, state, and country that supports youth leaders with such tenacity and strength as National 4‑H Council. Being a 4‑H Youth in Action winner gives me a responsibility to not only continue to reach out to my community and spread the joy of 4‑H, but also make paramount the importance of educating people to live a healthy lifestyle!
The whole experience leading up to the Legacy Awards was surreal. Meeting the other three winners—the most genuine and heartwarming girls I know—made it all the more life-changing. It’s not often that you find yourself in the company of such phenomenal individuals who have the same passion for change as you, so I took advantage of every moment with them! Exploring D.C., we all agreed that one day we’d work together in the White House.
Getting dolled up and meeting with 4‑H’s marvelous supporters at the Legacy Awards was thrilling! Seeing the behind-the-scenes action of such a significant event made me appreciate every individual who contributed to the success of one of the best nights of my life. From being interviewed on the red carpet to receiving an award on stage, I truly felt like a superstar. The best part of it all was sharing my story and meeting others who knew the need for increased awareness of mental health. At my table, I sat by an older woman whose father was in the military, just like mine. She was taken aback by my dedication to the betterment of military communities, and I will never forget the kindness she showed me.
Because of my time spent in D.C. and at the Legacy Awards, I challenge other youth leaders across the country to pursue applying for the 4‑H Youth in Action Awards. The connections and opportunities it provides are not only memorable but noteworthy. If your heart is in your work, this opportunity is for you!
I’m forever indebted to those who helped make my Youth in Action experience amazing, and I look forward to my pillar work that I will accomplish throughout this upcoming year!