Today, I would like to highlight Samantha Harris, a senior member of the Mountaineers 4-H Club.
Samantha, who enrolled in the program when she was 5 years old, is the daughter of 4-H dog leader and superintendent Julie Harris. She has participated in rabbit, poultry, swine, dog and goat projects throughout her time in 4-H.
Samantha loves to raise animals, and the 4-H program shines when it helps raise kids through raising animals. Samantha is a great example of this philosophy. She has learned the values of responsibility and dedication by having to feed, clean and care for her 4-H animals. She also has learned to take her 4-H experience and share it with her community.
Samantha will be graduating from Big Picture High School in Durango this year. In order to graduate, Samantha had to complete a senior thesis project. She chose to do her project about youth development and how 4-H can be a positive benefit for our community. Samantha planned, organized and developed a presentation that highlighted her experience in 4-H and how others could get involved, then she gave her presentation to youth and adult audiences.
I met Samantha four years ago, and to see a once shy young teenager blossom into a confident young woman makes me proud. Her public-speaking skills have improved greatly. In her presentations, she is quick to thank her mom and other adults who have made a great impact on her life and supported her throughout her 4-H years.
She also does a great job at highlighting the opportunities she has had through 4-H. Samantha has gone on two interstate exchange trips, visiting the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition, she has gone to state leadership events in Fort Collins and Denver. These experiences have allowed her to meet new people and gain valuable life skills.
When I asked Samantha what 4-H means to her, she replied, “It has made me a better person and helped me gain maturity.”
Samantha plans to go to college next year to get a nursing degree. She wants to return to the area and stay involved in 4-H. She has two younger brothers she would like to help mentor.
We wish Samantha the greatest success in life and look forward to her continued involvement in the program.
On another note, I mentioned in my last column that, 4-H will be sponsoring a garden plot at the Old Fort Research Station in Hesperus this summer. The planting beds will be made this weekend, and crops will be going in the ground May 10.
We invite interested groups to come out, get dirty and help grow some food. I can help organize an educational day for your group and highlight the importance of local agriculture for the future of community. For more information, contact me at the Extension Office.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth-development agent.