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Let the Bells Ring Out. We Have a New YAC Member!
Andrea Soesbergen has had an illustrious 11 years in 4-H. Humble beginnings as a pee wee member, many executive positions, and experience on the Quebec 4-H Board of Directors have all culminated in her being selected as the new Youth Advisory Committee member for Quebec 4-H.
Andrea currently resides in Dundee, QQ and is only 20 years old. She is presently enrolled in Agro-Environmental Sciences at McGill University, specializing in Plant Production and Professional Agrology so that she can one day be a professional agronomist/agronome. In order to help everyone get to know Andrea, please see the interview below where Andrea tells more about herself and why she loves 4-H so much.
Cameron: How long have you been in the 4-H program?
Andrea: I have been in the 4-H program for 11 years officially, but I have been involved in it for much longer than that. I started off joining my older brother and sister as they went to meetings, before I was old enough to be an official member myself. But I came to the meetings and learned alongside them and fell in love with the program very quickly. Since then I have grown a huge deal through 4-H. After starting at the club level, taking on executive positions within my club, I then represented my club on the Quebec 4-H Board of Directors. Throughout my five years of being on the board, I have progressed there as well, taking on executive positions at the provincial level of the organization. When the opportunity came up for YAC, a few of my friends recommended that I apply. I looked into what being on YAC was about, and it seemed like a natural next step in my progression through the 4-H program.
C: What is the best thing about the 4-H program?
A: One of the best things about the 4-H program is the opportunities it presents to its members. If you take up all the opportunities 4-H has to offer, it will put you in situations that will really allow you to grow as a person and gain new and exciting experiences. For example, through 4-H I have traveled to different provinces across the country, and I have been put in situations where I have had to run meetings or speak in front of a large group of people. Because of 4-H I have had the chance to be on both sides of an interview, and I've learned to organize large fundraising events. 4-H has continuously thrown me outside of my comfort zone in a way that has allowed me to grow so much as an individual.
C: How has 4-H changed your life? What aspects of the program have made the biggest influence on you?
A: As exciting as my trips across the country through 4-H have been, I would have to say that the part of the program that has had the largest influence on me is actually the less extravagant part of 4-H. It has been experiences like learning to run meetings and working with others. And, through showing my calf I learned that hard work does pay off, but that there also times where you work hard and you don't win. It's the little lessons that I've learned here and there along my journey through 4-H that have taught me about leadership, hard work, communication, and about learning to win and lose with grace.
C: In your role as a Youth Advisory Committee Member, what do you hope to achieve for both provincial and national 4-H programs?
A: I want to be involved in making sure that both the provincial and national 4-H programs continue to offer the same kind of life changing opportunities that I had the chance to experience. I want to see the creation and maintenance of current opportunities and events that allow for positive youth development across Canada, because I believe that 4-H really does encourage youth to become the leaders of tomorrow.
C: If you could say one thing to people who aren’t in 4-H, what would you say?
A: Don't let this life changing opportunity pass you by. Go outside of your comfort zone, join a club, and learn some new skills. You'll be surprised with the places it can take you.
So, as you can see, Andrea has a wealth of knowledge to share with the Youth Advisory Committee Members and 4-H Canada as a whole. Her experiences have brought her to another amazing milestone in her 4-H career, and we can’t wait to have her join the team!
If you, or anyone you know may be interested in the Youth Advisory Committee, please contact 4-H Canada.
Yours in 4-H,
4-H Saskatchewan Youth Advisory Committee Member