4-H has, in a sentence, taught me how to be myself and to tap into my full potential. I was once a quiet kid who desperately wanted to speak out and have an impact but didn’t know how. Now, I am a determined, confident young adult who can be heard the minute I walk into a room. I’ve come to realize that I love management and situations that involve directing or engaging others, especially to the goal of helping someone or having a positive impact. My management skills have been built up through 4-H, during the many situations wherein I was responsible for leading a group. Leading camp activities has taught me quite a bit about flexibility in particular, as last-minute situations that need quick thinking to fix come up often at camp.
I attribute many of my successes thus far in life to 4-H. This fall, I will be attending Yale University, and am certain that the time I spent with 4-H over the last several years contributed directly to my acceptance to that prestigious institution. Indirectly, 4-H has made me the person that I am today, a person who can and will accomplish great things.
4-H has been a positive constant in my life, always there to remind me to smile. 4-H is one of the reasons that I am such a bright, shining force, dedicated to making everyone around me feel better about themselves and others. I am passionate about self-love, especially among young people, and my 4-H experience – going to camp, meeting a wide variety of new people, discovering myself – is the reason that I can have such confidence. 4-H not only allowed me to see how widespread self-confidence issues are among teenagers and children by putting me in a situation where I became very close to so many kids, it also showed me that I was worthy of growing and becoming more self-assured.
My mother has been sending children to 4-H camp for twenty years. I’ve attended for eleven years, and my siblings attended before me. Every member of my family knows and sees the growth of children who experience 4-H. Many of my relatives cannot believe how much I have changed in the last few years alone, and I always attribute it to 4-H. As someone who wishes to someday work in public service, I know that the leadership, management and problem-solving skills that I have attained through my 4-H club will define me as an adult. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to 4-H for making me the person I am today, or how certain I am that I want to continue being an active participant in 4-H for as long as possible.
By Maria Grillo