4-H produces leaders for the real world

The 4-H Club seeks to help mold young people into the leaders of tomorrow through its Youth Development Program. Ra’Janae Morris fits the bill.

Morris, a senior at Hahnville High School, joined the 4-H Club when she was in the third grade. Since that time, she has become the president of the 4-H Jr. Leader Club, the chairperson of the Louisiana State 4-H Fashion Board, and has pursued countless opportunities to assert herself as a leader in her community.

“4-H has always produced a great crop of young leaders, and I’m proud to be part of that tradition,” Morris said. “4-H has granted me so many opportunities that I probably would not have been exposed to outside of the organization. You learn basic soft skills and professional etiquette. Not only does 4-H prepare you for real world situations, but it teaches you how to communicate and work with the peers you have around you in any setting.”

Learning and applying those skills and traits can take one far in life.

“Those who have shown me the way when they were in high school are now graduates of pristine universities. I now find myself in that same position of being the example for younger 4-H’ers to follow,” Morris said.

Through 4-H, older members serve as role models for younger members through a mentoring relationship. 4-H members also gain experience in youth-adult partnerships, working with adults and networking with others to accomplish common goals.

Through a partnership with United Way of St. Charles,

According to 4-H spokeswoman Kali Zammit, herself a former member, a partnership between the St. Charles Parish 4-H Club and United Way of St. Charles allows 4-H to provide opportunity for youths K-12 to learn life skills in a fun environment with hands-on activities with friends, fostering a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity.

Zammit said this year 4-H will offer new opportunities focusing on the three mission mandates of citizenship, healthy living and SET (science, engineering and technology).

Some of the new opportunities offered this year include hands-on activities at the Wetland Watcher’s Park, a field trip to conduct a service project to benefit St. Charles Parish, a Color Run and a Healthy Living fair.

The St. Charles Parish 4-H Youth Development Program will continue to conduct clubs in school settings in addition to five community clubs (4-H CHEF, 4-H Cloverbud, 4-H Fashion, 4-H Jr. Leader and 4-H Shooting Sports).

CHEF, for students grades 4-8, teaches members how to cook and incorporate fitness and healthy meals into day-to-day life. Cloverbud (grades K-3) sees members engage in hands-on activities that teach about nature, animals, art and the environment among other parts of life.

The Fashion Club allows members to learn about sewing and fashion through workshops and service projects. The Jr. Leader Club (grades 7-12) sees members plan service projects, parish events and trips while developing leadership skills. And the Jr. Sports Club (ages 10-19) teaches firearm safety, marksmanship and citizenship skills through practices, trainings and competitions.

For information on how to participate in the 4-H Club program, contact Kali Zammit by calling (985) 785-4473 or via e-mail at kzammit@agcenter.lsu.edu.


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