4-H Youth in Action: An Experience that Changed My Life

By Serena Woodard May 15, 2018

Attending the National 4‑H Council Legacy Awards to accept the high honor of Youth in Action Award winner has been a goal of mine ever since another member of my 4‑H Club won in 2013. At the Legacy Awards, I had the opportunity to meet United States Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, Aubrey Plaza, and even chat with Jackie Joyner-Kersee who presented me my award. As she presented my award, we hugged, and she told me she was “so proud” of me and what I have accomplished already. That may have been one of the happiest moments of my life!


I was so amazed as I watched the videos of the other 4‑H Youth in Action winners. It was really special to watch my video for the first time; it captured my personality, my family’s love, and the happiness my animals and 4‑H bring me. As each video was revealed, the audience was left on the edge of their seats. It was such a phenomenal experience. I was thankful for the many people who were able to join me in Washington, D.C., to support me at the Legacy Awards. One of my county educators, my parents, a close 4‑H friend, my state ambassador advisor, and the Oklahoma State 4‑H Director were all able to be there. This just proves that 4‑H really is a family!

Serving as the 4‑H Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar winner has been very exciting. In just this past month alone, I have served on panels for the 4‑H IDEAS Forum, participated in interviews with magazines and newspapers, and even aired on a few television channels! I have always wanted to share my 4‑H story, but this has been bigger than I ever dreamed.

I know my journey for serving 4‑H on the national level is just beginning, but my favorite memory will always be meeting and hanging out with the other pillar winners. We introduced each other to our family traditions and what things are like in our state. Bonding with these girls and knowing there are youth out there who have already made such an impact and left a legacy reminds me that no goal is too big if you set your mind to it. My advice to you is if you want to continue serving for the greatest and largest youth organization in the world and you have a service project, apply for 4‑H Youth in Action in whatever field suits your interests. This experience changed my life; I know it will change yours too.

4-H Youth in Action: An Experience that Changed My Life