PAW PAW, Mich. — Each year Michigan 4-H asks youth ages 11 and 12 to write essays on the topic, “Because of 4-H I can…” This is the third and final essay that we will share for now in which youth have written about what they have learned through their involvement in 4-H.
This time we will hear from Blake Towne, he titled his essay, The Greatness of 4-H. This essay was written about a year ago. Blake is from Grand Junction, is 12 years old, and a member of Van Buren Voyagers and Young Explorers 4-H clubs.
“My name is Blake Towne. I’m in 7th grade and I’ve been in 4-H for 7 years. (Blake is now in 8th grade and has been in 4-H for 8 years.) 4-H has helped me a lot, and it’ll help me in the future too. Now I can own animals, do artwork, build things, and speak in front of a crowd, 4-H will also help me when I apply for a job, apply for college, and help my community. I’ve also learned many social skills because of it.
When I first started 4-H I showed chickens. I learned how to take care of them and show them in 4-H. I used to only have a few chickens but not I have 11 chickens. Now I know what a chicken is, how to raise one, and prepare it for the fair. Chickens are now one of my favorite animals. About a year after I started 4-H I got into cats. Since then we got more cats. We take care of them in know how to show them. Without 4-H I don’t think I would groom my cat and keep him exercised as much as I do now. Just recently I got goats. I’ve shown them and now they’ve been bred. I never thought I was getting goats but because of 4-H I can.
In 4-H, I also do crafts. I do drawings, fly ties, and many other crafts. I used to not be interested in those things but now I love it. I do drawings every years and I’m getting better at it. When I started piano, I got interested in the talent show. Now I practice hard to do piano in the talent show. Now I’ve been doing piano for 8 years. I’m slowly getting better and now I love piano more and more.
Because of 4-H I have gained important skills, like self-confidence and courage to talk in front of people. Ever since the talent shows and the animal showing I’ve been braver to walk up there more and more. Because of 4-H, I’ve acquired skills to help me speak in front of people. I’ve also learned self-confidence and courage, last year at the salmon release, the science teacher picked me to be interviewed by Channel 3 News because he knew I’m good at talking to people and that I could explain what out science class did. Last week, Fox News came to Paw Paw Middle School. They were going to interview the Robotics Team so I got picked to talk again. I talked in front of the entire middle school and the news.
When I started 4-H, we started to do petting zoos and sing Christmas carols for the elderly at the nursing home. Every year, if you have a cat, dog, and other small animals, 4-H hosts a petting zoo at the nursing home so they can see and pet out animals, During December we go to the nursing home and we sing Christmas carols to everyone there.
These are all things I do and leave because of 4-H!”
For more information on Van Buren County 4-H contact Janice Zerbe, Extension Educator with Michigan State University Extension, 269-657-8213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Michigan State University Extension
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