Success in 2019 leads into 2020

— Written By

As 2019 winds down, Caldwell County 4-H gears up for a great 2020, because of the successes experienced this year. Successes have involved youth, volunteers and families in the community interested in learning more about 4-H. They teach us about the importance of trying new things, volunteerism in our community and that we grow when we welcome new people into our groups.

The 2016 4‑H National Youth Survey on Leadership reported two-thirds of youth respondents said they do not have the tangible skills they needed to lead.

“Half of high school students said they do not feel prepared to lead in college or a future career,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council.

In August, four local youth participated in a 4-H leadership workshop, where they learned about public speaking, group presentations and communicating with the public. One Caldwell County 4-H member took her new knowledge from the workshop and recorded a public service announcement.

When it aired, community members and employees of Cooperative Extension who heard it responded, saying how professional she sounded.

It was a positive experience for the member. She gained a new leadership skill she can feel confident about, because she applied what she learned and experienced success.

Another example of success in 4-H this past year comes from our 4-H Cooking Club. It welcomed two new adult leaders beginning in the fall, and several new youth members.

Through some coaching and training, the leaders have built a foundation for a successful club and have the ability to continue to welcome new members.

In 2015, North Carolina was ranked 29 out of 50 states and Washington, DC for the percentage of residents volunteering at 25.8 percent, based on data from the Corporation for National and Community Service – a government entity.

Each adult choosing to volunteer with 4-H makes an impact in the community, because he/she/they are supporting education and youth development; and volunteers contribute to the wellbeing of North Carolina now and in the future.

A third success story comes from a meeting held earlier this month. Over 90 individuals attended an interest meeting for a new livestock club. Most had little to no recent history with 4-H, but they showed enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn.

Youth agriculture and livestock programs teach life skills such as responsibility, and they can open doors to future schooling and career opportunities because of the applied sciences involved with livestock projects.

So, 4-H gains momentum from these successes and others. Here at the end of the year, challenge yourself to picture what successes you wish to accomplish in 2020, and write down realistic goals or steps needed in order to accomplish them.

Parents, ask your children what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year, and hold them accountable. Set an example by doing this for yourself, and share what you decide with them. Lastly, commitment is required to overcome the challenges that will come along the way, while pursuing goals.

Caldwell County 4-H wishes you happy holidays and success in the new year.

We are a member agency of United Way, and it enthusiastically supports its partnerships.