"4-H reinforced the lessons I learned from my parents about the importance of hard work, being responsible and being a positive team member."
B.S. '90 Education, Southern Illinois University; M.ED '01 Instructional Technology, University of Virginia
Director, Morris Challenge, University of Minnesota Morris
Favorite 4-H Projects: Public Speaking, Livestock, Woodworking
How did 4-H contribute to your leadership skills today?
4-H reinforced the lessons I learned from my parents about the importance of hard work, being responsible and being a positive team member. Our 4-H club, the Camargo Champs, could best be described as a team of young people who cared about each other, worked hard to prepare for the county fair and (hopefully) the state fair and loved to learn and compete.
What did you learn through 4-H that benefits you today?
One thing I learned is how important volunteers are to organizations like 4-H. Like many organizations, 4-H doesn't have enough staff to get everything done so volunteers, like the ones who help form and lead clubs and help put on county fairs and other programs that matter so much to 4-H members, really perform a critical role in the success of 4-H.
Did any of your 4-H projects instill a career path for you?
The public speaking experience I gained in 4-H helped me gain confidence and competence. This experience helped me in my five years as a public school teacher and in my nearly 20 years in adult education. As Director of the Morris Challenge, a University of Minnesota Morris program designed to help teams in rural areas identify and tackle challenges in their communities, I spend a good deal of time speaking to groups of people about why UM Morris is launching the program and why they should strongly consider putting together a team to participate in the Morris Challenge.
What advice would you give a current 4-H member? Why should young people join 4-H today?
4-H is a great opportunity to gain experience in areas you might not otherwise get to learn about in your school or your community. While it's great to pursue your current interests, it's also great to explore other areas that might lead you into learning about new things and making connections with people you wouldn't meet without getting out of your comfort zone..