Difference Maker - 4H

Posted on August 01, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Head, Heart, Hands, Health: 4H is a All-inclusive Program for Youth

Usually we focus on a person who makes a difference in our community and with our kids. This month we are featuring several people and one organization that has changed thousands of young people's lives... for the better.

It's a confidence builder. It gives kids a voice and the ability to speak in front of people. It teaches skills and helps create lifelong friendships, contacts and job skills. And it all happens thanks to a few staff members and many, many volunteers. You might've been witness to some of these amazing attributes at July's Eagle County Fair and Rodeo... more specifically at the 4H exhibits, which included baking, sewing, crafts and livestock, to name a few.

Eagle County has a robust 4H community thanks to countless volunteers, and staffers Jenny Leonetti, Glenda Wentworth and intern Katie Stephens. Glenda was in 4H back in Kansas when she was a child. Katie started in the Clover Buds program around age 7 and today is interning at the CSU Extension Office, which houses 4H.

Kids in 4H take on the world - they give presentations, keep log books, interact with many different people, attend meetings and ultimately have mind-blowing finished projects, whether it's a home-crafted sewing project, fanciful organic pie of prize-winning turkey. And, overall, it just makes kids ready for the 'real world.'

"4H is a valuable program because it brings together youth and adult volunteers who share a common passion; whether it be shooting sports, dog training, horses, sewing, or cake decorating (and the list goes on)," shares Korrine Winstead, parent volunteer. "4H gives an opportunity for youth to learn and grow. The Theme for the 4H program this year at fair was "4H Grows Here" - I loved that theme because really each 4H program helps to cultivate and educate all of the youth involved."

Korrine, like many other parent volunteers, started in 4H as a youth. Glenda loves to see this continued support and engagement.

"We have some leaders who are still leaders even after their children leave. Some leaders have become national trainers [in shooting sports]. Their kids graduated ten years ago and they stayed involved. That's very cool to see and satisfying that they are still able to give back to youth," Glenda says.

Katie agrees - she says how 4H becomes a second family, building relationships that last a lifetime. "I remember when I started out, I went to State Fair. I still consider many of the people I met there best friends. We call each other our pseudo brother or sister. They have my back in any situation."

If you want to get involved with 4H, or have a child who is interested, contact Eagle County 4H, Jenny Leonetti, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 970.328.8631.

"They are ahead of the curve in ways that build strong attributes for life after school," Katie summarizes.

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
Physical Address: 34520 US Highway 6, C10 | Edwards, CO 81632
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4613 | Edwards, CO 81632
Phone: 970.949.9250 | info@eagleyouth.org
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