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4-H Canada Blog
What Does 12 Years of 4-H Do to You?
When you enter your last year of 4-H, you can get a lot of mixed feelings. Especially when you’re so dedicated to the program like myself. 4-H has done wonders for me as an individual, and as I enter my final year, I’m beginning to realize how important it has been to my life. I’ve also started to think about how I am supposed to fill the gap that 4-H has filled.
From day one, 4-H has influenced my every decision. If I have had to pick between something and 4-H, you can bet 99% of the time I chose 4-H. So what have these 12 years done for me, and how will they impact my decisions in the future? Not only have I become a more self-confident individual, but I have also become a leader and mentor who influences the lives of youth across Alberta and Canada. 4-H has helped me to become a confident and vibrant young woman who never stops until she succeeds. I can speak in front of large crowds and not even flinch, and when in a pickle, improvisation is no jam.
4-H has set me up for a lifetime of self-discovery, growth and inspiration. It has helped me to learn how to see challenges as opportunities, and has undoubtedly impacted how I see myself, as well as the people and the world around me. I see myself as a leader, who has the ability to influence not only my future, but also the future of others in a positive and incomparable way.
4-H has created a lifetime of opportunities for me, like it does for most members. I have had the privilege to travel across Canada and the United States because of the program. When people see my resume or hear that I was a 4-H member, they automatically look at me differently and make an effort to open doors wider than normal.
4-H members have a wide range of skill sets and will complete any task put in front of them. With each year of 4-H, members learn a broader skill set, and increase their knowledge—which in turn helps them become even more productive and beneficial members of society.
However, the average number of years members stay in 4-H is slowly decreasing. And, as a lifelong member who has been there since the first day she could start, it is upsetting to see so many youth not receiving as much out of the program as they possible can.
I can tell you that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for 4-H. Never would I be so involved with agriculture, or pursuing a degree in Agriculture if I didn’t have 4-H. Not only has 4-H helped me grow as a person, but also it has helped me to create a path that never may have existed. Without the program, I would never have had the courage to travel to Cuba on a Community Service Learning Trip, or fly on my own. I would never have managed moving away from home and starting university. But most of all, I would never have had the courage to stand up for myself, what I believe in, and what I want to do.
4-H creates leaders! It creates the future leaders of tomorrow. And it will continue to create those leaders no matter the number of individuals involved. With my final year of 4-H starting, I am being to realize how important the programs has been to me. I also have started to realize how much I am going to miss it. I will miss the programs, the leaders, and most of all the members I have been involved with.
Needless to say, I will cry on my last day, because 4-H has changed my life.
So make sure that you continue to be involved with the program, encourage your friends, and take all you can away from it, because once you come to the end you will realize everything you missed out on and everything you actually got.
Yours forever in 4-H,
4-H Alberta Youth Advisory Committee Representative
P.S - here's a photo from back in the day: