When I joined 4-H 5 years ago, I thought that I would just be learning about animals. I had no idea that I would learn leadership, citizenship and public speaking skills that I would apply to many situations both in and out of 4-H. I never imagined that when I joined 4-H, I would meet some of the best people in the world that would help me to grow as a leader in my community.
Through 4-H, I have set many goals related to my project and my community. I used to think that because I had a goal, I had to achieve it, even if it was a minor goal. 4-H has taught me that I didn’t have to achieve my goal; as long as I tried my hardest, I was still achieving something, even if it wasn’t what I hoped for. I would achieve the ability to say “Congratulations” to someone when they won the prize that I set as my goal. I would achieve the ability to say “I’ll try again next year”, when I didn’t get voted into the officer position that I hoped for. Through 4-H I learned that no matter what I set as my goal, I will attain something.
Throughout my 4-H career, I have had many rewarding experiences, such as becoming involved in my community. Through my club, I have raised funds for the Torrington Police Department for a K-9 bullet-proof vest. I have also assisted my club in raising money so that a veteran was able to get a service dog. We also raised money for a shade awning at a local pound. It has been very rewarding to see a change in my community that I helped to facilitate. Another rewarding 4-H experience was when I ran for a leadership position on my county’s Fair Association committee. I ran for the position of publicity chair, and was elected! I am enjoying having a role in planning and promoting this year’s 4-H fair. This has enabled me to meet people and network in my community.
After becoming active in my community, my biggest challenge has been the realization that 4-H is not widely known. While venturing out into my community, I have had the opportunity to educate people about 4-H. By participating in the Litchfield County Ad Campaign, I have raised funds and helped raise awareness about 4-H and the opportunities that it provides to youth.
By Olivia Hall