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4-H Canada Blog
Where Are They Now? 2015 L.E.A.D Recipients
Over the past three years, the 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction (L.E.A.D.) have given us the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing leaders that we have in our community and give a little bit back to those that give so much of their time and of themselves. Below are four personal reflections from our 2015 L.E.A.D. recipients on what the recognition has done for their life and what it is like being partnered with their L.E.A.D. mentors.
Cameron Choquette - Community Engagement & Communications (2015)
Since receiving my L.E.A.D. scholarship in Community Engagement & Communications, my life has been filled with many new 4-H opportunities that have advanced my own professional development while being able to speak to the benefits of 4-H programming across Canada.
I’ve been asked to speak about the connection between 4-H and youth leadership at events across Canada, such as the Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Summit, the AgScape Ontario 25th Anniversary’s panel on “The Future of Ag” and as the moderator of panel on youth and agriculture at Canada’s Agriculture Day event in Ottawa.
The scholarship and mentorship from L.E.A.D. have been outstanding and the support from the 4-H Canada team is second to none. Not only does a scholarship take away many financial woes, but it also makes me appreciate the opportunity I've been given to pursue higher knowledge and grow as a young professional.
These experiences gave me the opportunity to showcase how the L.E.A.D. scholarship benefits young people as well as the 4-H program as a whole.
Being recognized as a leader isn't about fame and glory, it’s about hard work and dedication; be that staying up late to read meeting notes, preparing presentations or simply writing a thank you card to those people who made a big impact on my life.
Louise Pickard - Science & Technology (2015)
Since I became a L.E.A.D. recipient my life has undergone some fairly substantial changes. I was a first year student knowing no one on campus, nervous to participate in my classes and faculty events, but I now feel completely at home on the University of New Brunswick’s beautiful campus. Through the guidance of my L.E.A.D. mentor have been involved in new projects in areas I otherwise might not have signed up for like the Rocket Club, UNB’s Mechanical Engineering Coastal Derby or running faculty events as an Engineering Undergraduate Society Director.
My area of study in helping to find more sustainable ways to grow food through science was inspired by 4-H, and as a L.E.A.D. recipient I use my voice to encourage others to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or S.T.E.M.
4-H is such a powerful learning experience. It’s shown me and members across the country the important role S.T.E.M plays in making the world turn. It’s also shown countless other people how to use their passion in a positive manner which is why I encourage all of you to introduce your friends to 4-H today. The world needs more 4-H.
Meghan McGillivray - Environment & Healthy Living (2015)
Last year, I was fortunate enough to receive the L.E.A.D. scholarship in the Environment & Healthy Living Pillar and begin working with my mentor Donald Balmforth – a sports physiotherapist in Montreal. My experience as a L.E.A.D. recipient has been great so far; not only has the financial aid of the scholarship allowed me to spend more of my free time volunteering in my community and planning projects for members in my area, but the mentorship part of the program has enabled me to start networking and gaining experience in my field of interest.
At the end of February 2016, I was fortunate enough to spend time with my L.E.A.D. mentor at his clinic, Catalyst Santé in Montreal, Quebec, and learn about what his work as a physiotherapist entails. One of the biggest things I was able to take away from my experience was the importance of a positive mindset in a workplace environment. Every day that I spent at the clinic, Donald and the rest of the staff were all always upbeat, positive and spent lots of time joking around. It made for a really positive atmosphere that I personally looked forward to going to each week regardless of how busy or stressed out I was with school. It really seemed to make an impact on the patients as well - regardless of the type of day patients were having before they entered the clinic with their various injuries, they always appeared to be in higher spirits with a more positive outlook towards their recovery when they walked out.
Austin Pizzey - Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security (2015)
Since becoming a L.E.A.D. recipient, my life has changed in many positive ways like working outside of my comfort zone and making friendships with new people. I frequently find myself working with others who may be much different than myself because I have the understanding that the most productive way to accomplish tasks is as a group containing individuals with a wide variety of skill sets. Being recognized as a L.E.A.D. recipient has also helped reinforce the idea that I have the ability and leadership to make a change in my own community and country. I understand that if everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move or to take a leadership role, time and opportunity may be lost. The skills and knowledge that I have within myself can help to lead those around me to new heights and explore new boundaries.
I believe that constant advancements and improvements in agriculture need to be made to help make it more sustainable. My career goal is to continue working in the agriculture field to help make these improvements that are necessary.
During the past summer I was very fortunate to obtain a position at Bourgault Industries as a Research and Development Engineering Summer Student helping to improve the seeding and tillage equipment which the company designs and builds.
The experience and insight that I gained with Bourgault was amazing and helped me to understand some of the obstacles which must still be overcome in the future. I will be returning to Bourgault next summer to the same position and hope to continue improving the seeding and tillage equipment to help farmers in their fields.
Interested in applying for the 4-H Canada Leadership Excellence Awards of Distinction? Through the generosity of CN, four scholarships - with an overall value of $20,000 each over four years - are available to 4-H members who have demonstrated personal values, leadership and community involvement within one of 4-H Canada's Leadership Development Pillars. Recipients will be paired with an industry mentor within each of the Leadership Development Pillars that they were selected in.
Visit https://4-h-canada.ca/GrantsScholarshipsandAwards for more information. Deadline to apply is May 31, 2017.