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…” Over the next couple weeks we will share what youth have wrote about that they have learned through their involvement in 4-H.
Carey Towne, a member of Young Explorers and Van Buren Voyagers 4-H Clubs wrote this as 12 year old.
“When I was 6 years old, I joined my first 4-H club. I stated as a Cloverbud where I began acquiring two of the many skills 4-H has helped me build, working with my hands and commitment. During my first year I did still exhibits and committed to helping my 4-H club with our booth at the fair. I have continued to be a member of our clubs’ booth committee through my whole 4-H career. This is my 7th year in 4-H and I have met many motivated, positive and committed people throughout my journey who have helped me become who I am today.
The foundations that 4-H was built on are still the same today. Our pledge is important to 4-Hers. The emblem is a 4 leaf clover, each leaf stands for something: 1st lead is Head (to think, plan and reason), the 2nd leaf is Heart (to be true, kind, and sympathetic), the 3rd leaf is Hands (to be useful, helpful, and skillful), the 4th lead is Health (to take care of yourself and your community). Under each leaf, there are life skills, two for each. Hands: Giving and Working, Health: Being and Living, Head: Managing and Thinking, and Heart: Relating and Caring.
In 4-H, I have learned about giving and working. Leadership is part of giving. Because of 4-H I can talk in front of audiences big and small, be responsible and positive. These are all key factors to being a successful leader. Every year, I go to the fair and do the talent show, I always either sing or play the piano or my ukulele. Because of 4-H I have the courage to do this. Because of 4-H, I have learned to be responsible. Unlike most kids in my school, I wake up every morning and take care of my projects (animals). Some kids have parents who take care of their animals for them but my two siblings and I do it. Taking care of my animals has helped me be responsible.
In 4-H, I have also learned about my well-being and living. Because of 4-H, I have learned a lot about self-discipline and stress management. I have learned to set goals for myself, like learning how to do still exhibits, and making studying a priority so that I do well in school. I have also learned to set priorities so I finish on time. By setting priorities, I am more prepared for things which helps manage my stress. Because of 4-H I have been successful in showing my animals and getting good grades I n school.
In 4-H, I have learned about managing and thinking. Because of 4-H, I have learned a lot about planning/organizing. I have learned about time management, like after studying or working hard, taking a break and then going back to studying. I have also learned about decision making, like when I breed my goat every year, I have to think about how old she is, what qualities I need to get a better product. Because of 4-H, I can prioritize and make good decisions.
In 4-H, I have learned about caring and relating. Because of 4-H, I have learned about social skills, like being positive and accepting to others. I have also learned about helping others. Last year, I received an award for helping in the barns as much as I did. When People need help, I do my best to help them. Because of 4-H, I can be positive and help others.
Because of 4-H I have became a better person. 4-H is a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone. 4-H helps to develop and improve several skills to help anyone become a better person. Because of 4-H I can be helpful to my club, my community, my country and my world.”
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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