How 4-H helped to prepare me and be the person I am today

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How 4-H helped to prepare me and be the person I am today

by Chelsea Warren, Delaware 4-H alumni member

 

Growing up as a member of the Delaware 4-H Program was a tremendous experience for me as a youth. I enjoyed being able to learn important life skills and knowledge by working with 4-H staff as well as important 4-H volunteer leaders that helped prepare me as an individual to be successful in my life today.

As a 4-H Alumni, I reflect back on what I gained from being part of the Delaware 4-H Program. I feel 4-H taught me the value of leadership, but also showed me the importance of volunteering and serving your community for the greater good. Since graduating from college, I have consistently worked in the nonprofit sector, serving communities in a variety of ways across the United States. I started working in industries involving Fairs and Rodeo, serving at events that help students earn money for college, then had the opportunity to work with larger organizations that grant thousands of dollars in scholarship money to students and now I am working in health care for a blood center that is currently collecting convalescent plasma used to treat COVID-19 patients. The life skills that 4-H taught me as well as the experiences the program provided me all helped me to be prepared to work for a variety of companies and succeed in these positions.

4-H is a wonderful organization to be a part of and continually challenges everyone to think better and do better for yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your world.

4-H is a wonderful organization to be a part of and continually challenges everyone to think better and do better for yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your world.

As a 4-H member, I feel I learned so much during my membership years. What I have learned in 4-H is hard to quantify, as I can directly attribute many, many life skills to my time in 4-H, in addition to many indirect skills. The skill that stands out the most to me though is what I learned in public speaking and how to confidently guide your audience through a topic. In my life, I have presented at conferences as far South as Austin, Texas and seminars in New York City, in addition to speaking frequently to leadership and executive leadership from many of the companies I have worked with throughout the years. By learning in 4-H how to properly address a room and command an audience, I have been able to teach, share and consult in my regular job in a way that I would not have learned had I not been part of this youth development organization. Other skills that I find started with 4-H would be creative and logical thinking and always being prepared by having a “Plan B.” I attended State 4-H Camp for many years before becoming a counselor and the skills I learned there for leading groups, tackling tough situations, conflict resolution and so much more have significantly influenced my ability to lead and work with teams throughout the United States even today. Other projects, such as livestock judging, showing my livestock animals and even sewing, have helped me develop skills that have allowed me to connect and network with many other young professionals since I started my career back in 2012 and even now in health care.

Being part of the Delaware 4-H Program also helped to prepare me for college. It provide me the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to connect with new people I had to live with (thank you, State Camp) and helped me to forge relationships with a diverse group of people. It also prepared me indirectly in regards to responsibility, time management, project management and the ability to form timelines and be prepared for presentations and other major projects that were required in college. These important skills learned in 4-H continue to help me every day in my current work and career.

4-H also helped me to be a leader and productive citizen in my community. The 4-H program showed me that there are more ways than one to make a difference and even the smallest act of selflessness and volunteering can go a long way to improve the life of another. It definitely taught me that it only takes a spark and soon that fire will be glowing. 4-H showed me how to be an active and productive individual in my community and helps me every day to continue to look for ways to make a difference.

I feel strongly that the skills you learn in 4-H will guide you down a path toward a career you want and definitely helps to provide you skills to be prepared to work and be successful. However, the friendships and connections you make along the way are by and far the best benefits of being a 4-H’er. Some of the other members I met as a young child are still some of my best friends today and the friends I made throughout my time in 4-H are still friends today. 4-H is a wonderful organization to be a part of and continually challenges everyone to think better and do better for yourself, your family, your friends, your community and your world.

 

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