The program provided leadership, service and cultural opportunities for 4-H’er – Salisbury Post

The program provided leadership, service and cultural opportunities for 4-H’er

Published at 00:00 on Saturday, October 1, 2022

By Olivia Stirrup

Happy National 4-H Week! My name is Olivia Stirrup and I am celebrating this week by sharing my 4-H story. First, allow me to introduce myself. I have been in Rowan County 4-H for 3 years and am currently Chairman of Rowan County 4-H Council and Rowan Rolling Pins 4-H Club. I am a junior at South Rowan High School and a freshman at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. I enjoy reading, cooking, spending time with friends and attending my 4-H club meetings.

My 4-H story began in May 2019 when I attended my first Rowan Rolling Pins 4-H club meeting when the club was just getting started. Since then I have taken on several leadership roles at both Rowan Rolling Pins and Rowan County Council, including as a reporter and chairman. I have also participated in district 4-H trips including Winter Enrichment in 2019, Teen Retreat in 2020, and Virtual Winter Enrichment in 2020, as well as state-level 4-H trips including Virtual Citizenship Focus in 2020 and NC 4-H Congress in 2022. I have participated in county, district and state level presentations since 2020 where I received gold and silver level awards. I participated in programs like Speak-Up, International Pen Pals, Global Exchange Student, Summer Fun and Poultry Judging.

Since 2019, 4-H has given me the opportunity to grow through public speaking, leadership, community service, and travel. Through the Speak-Up program, I learned to improve my public speaking skills and become more confident in front of my peers. During my participation in the International Pen Pal program, I was paired with a teenager from South Korea where I discovered her family, her culture, her schooling and her country. Over the summer, my family and I hosted an international student from Japan as part of a 4-H international exchange program. We acquired new knowledge through our cultural differences and our customs. On trips such as Winter Enrichment, Teen Retreat, and 4-H Congress, I’ve met 4-H’ers from all over North Carolina and attended workshops such as Becoming A Camp Counselor, Team Bonding and Leadership and Civic Commitment.

Thanks to 4-H, I got out of my comfort zone and tried new things. 4-H has given me so many new opportunities that have made me the person I am today. I met tons of new people, including city, county, and state officials, and made lifelong friendships and relationships. My 4-H connections even gave me the job opportunity I have today. I gained new role models like my 4-H agent, Laura Allen. She became a strong person in my life who is always a source of positive encouragement and leadership. He is someone I will always admire.

I am very grateful for all that I have won and continue to win through 4-H. It’s a great way to get involved in your community and try new things. To me, 4-H is beyond what you see on social media or in your local newspaper. 4-H not only gives me an opportunity to grow, but also a place where I can explore my interests and abilities. Although my 4-H story began 3 years ago, I feel like this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what else 4-H has in store for me and will always keep improving on the best.

James C. Tibbs