My 4-H story is so deeply entwined with who I am as a person today that the idea of separating it out from the overall story makes the rest seem quite insignificant.
Through my 10 years as a member of 4-H Alberta in the East Central Region, Stettler District (equine projects) I had the immense pleasure of acting as a key member and ambassador, as well as many executive positions at the club level. I competed in provincial public speaking in 2014 and now, as an alumnus, judge public speaking events in the Calgary region. I attended, counselled, planned and facilitated multiple regional and provincial-level programs, camps and events. I had the opportunity to network (inter)nationally and reconnect with 4-H friends across Alberta, the country and around the world – in the most unexpected instances and places!
If it wasn’t for discovering the 4-H community, enhancing my public speaking skills and forging meaningful relationships with many incredible individuals, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I am in my final year of study for a Bachelor of Communication, major in Public Relations with a minor in Business from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. I am planning to pursue a Masters in Business Administration after graduating, possibly in Europe! Without the mentorship, friendship and professional development I found in 4-H Alberta, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to pursue such a rewarding career and such rigorous post-secondary education.
4-H found me at a time in my life where I was desperately craving community and to this day, I continually received more than I ever could have anticipated. This program is a driving force for our youth to learn about volunteering, community and personal development. It also helps affirm our youth in an ever-changing world with unrealistic expectations for what they should look like, what their interests SHOULD be and what’s ‘cool’. I was never the definitively ‘cool’ kid, but I sure found an abundance of kindred spirits through 4-H who were brought together by the program’s unifying values: friendship, fun, mentorship, personal development, giving back to one’s community, animal & agricultural stewardship and kindness.
I continue to be involved with the program and am dedicated to ensuring the longevity of this incredible opportunity for our youth to find, improve and share who they are with the world in a nurturing environment.
I am always thrilled to make new 4-H friends! If you’d like to connect you can find me across social media @lynhamaaryn or through email at [email protected]. I am excited for another Show Your 4-H Colours Day and I’m primed to #bleedgreen and #showmy4hpride on 4-H’s special day: November 7!