"4-H taught me so many things, I think the extra opportunities for learning, organizing and showing projects helps with my role as an educator today."

Years in 4-H

B.S. '97 Eastern Illinois University; M.S. '99 Illinois State University


RDN/CDCES Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, SIU Center for Family Medicine

Favorite 4-H Projects:  Foods & Nutrition, Visual Arts, Swine

How did 4-H contribute to your leadership skills today?

This goes back to our meetings. While at the time, it seemed unnecessarily formal, it is helpful for business meetings today. I can be prepared and run a meeting with ease.

Did 4-H instill a career path for you?

Yes, absolutely, I took a wide variety of Foods and Nutrition projects. I decided to be a dietitian during my first year of college and know without a doubt that my strong foundation from 4-H helped me greatly throughout my career.

What advice do you have for someone interested in your career path?

Keep an open mind. Being a dietitian may not be glamorous or make a ton of money, but I know that the service and guidance that I do improves the lives of others. That's what makes it worthwhile. 

What advice would you give a current 4-H member?

Try everything and go for every opportunity. That's what I tell my 12 year old son in 4-H now.

Why should young people join 4-H today?

I am so amazed by the vast array of projects available to today's 4-Hers. I encourage youth to take the opportunity to learn outside of school and be more well rounded as an adult.