Washington State 4-H Youth Development Program

County Staff Spotlights

Spotlight – Snohomish County

Jana Ferris

WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program

 How long have you been at the county office?
13 years.

Where did you grow up?

Favorite activities/interests:
Camping, reading, watching college women’s softball

What do you enjoy most about working in 4-H? 
Working with adults to assist them in delivering the best possible program for youth. I enjoy watching as they try new things and work on improving their program. I also really dig it when they begin to stress the youth development purpose of the program rather than the skill building or competitive events. Like when I hear a volunteer say “let’s remember it’s about the process, not the product!”

How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow?
I have just begun to see those youth who entered 4-H during my first year begin to age out and leave the program as members.  Recently, I sat through scholarship interviews and was reminded of the first time I met one of the applicants. She was a very shy young girl. Over the years she became involved in many projects, activities, and assumed many leadership positions.  She is exiting a confident, competent person who exhibits poise, thoughtfulness, and optimism about her future. She stressed the need to give to others to better her world. This is one of my “back pocket” moments that I will pull out when things get stressful and cause me to wonder if I am doing good work in the youth development community.

What else would be good to know?
Although I spend enormous effort on work, I am passionate about family and friends and work tirelessly to ensure I maintain a good balance between both. My favorite day consists of doing good work and returning home to give good effort to my family as well!

Jana Ferris
WSU Extension Snohomish County
Extension Educator

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