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October 22, 2020

How it all started: 4H prepares its members for the future

By Christian Stebe
Rowan County 4-H member

Hello, my name is Christian Stebe. I am 16 and today I will be talking to you about 4-H.

What is 4-H? 4-H is a youth program that was founded in 1902 and started out with two clubs, the Boys Corn Club and the Girls Tomato and Canning Club. These clubs would be the foundation for this organization and what would lead it to its current status as we know it today. Also, 4-H would be one of the first organizations to combine race and gender into one integrated program.

Now that you know how 4-H started, let me tell you how I started in 4-H. I have been involved in 4-H for 8 years now. I started in 2012 by helping my mom with her 4-H club, the Hot Shots 4-H Club, but I could not join 4-H until the next year. The first club I joined was the N.C. Kids 4-H Club. Then, I joined a few other clubs over the years, but the club I have been most involved in is the Hot Shots 4-H Club, which focuses on target shooting sports.

4-H is not all about clubs. It has many opportunities for its members to better their future, including: public speaking, team building, and leadership. The program that really helped me to become the person I am today is Speak Up. Speak Up is a program that 4-H offers annually to teach basic public speaking skills to children that have no experience or are afraid to speak in a group. The Speak Up program got me out of my bubble and gave me the confidence to speak in front of large groups of people.

I would like to leave you with this quote from 4-H Alumnus Orville Redenbacher: “4-H is about building better citizens, teaching values and developing the skills necessary to leading a good and profitable life. And it doesn’t matter if you’re from a farm environment or from a big city. 4-H worked for me and I’ve continued to work for it.”

This article was written by a local 4-H member in celebration of National 4-H Week, held Oct. 4-10. For more information on Rowan County 4-H, go to rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.

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