Different Roles-Same Goals

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Dwight Loveday, Interim Assistant Dean and Department Head

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the National 4-H Leaders meeting. This being my first time to the meeting, I was bit unsure what to expect. However, the discussions were quite good regarding positive youth development – PYD. I was reminded that we are a part of something bigger. Of- ten, we get wound up in our projects and activities that make Tennessee 4-H special to us. But, 4-H is big! We are part of nationwide youth educational program called 4-H.

Through the many hours of discussion, I realized how different 4-H is from state to state. Consequently, the 4-H program looks differently from state to state. But, we have the same goal of providing an experiential learning program that helps youth develop life skills, leadership and citizenship. Someone made the statement “Different Roles – Same Goals”. Likewise, we as 4-H professionals serve in different roles in the Tennessee 4-H program, but we share the same goal of positive youth development. We may never know the impact of 4-H experiences may have on someone.

As a 4-H professional, you have heard someone say “I contribute 4-H for my success” or “I am what I am today because of 4-H”. Last week on the national news, I saw the impact of 4-H programming. The news story recently was about two young sisters that survived for two days in a California woodland. They had learned survival skills in their 4-H Outdoor Adventure project. They used their decision-making skills to stay safe and alive. In this case, 4-H was certainly life changing. You never know when you will have an impact on a 4-Her!