Washington State 4-H Youth Development Program

County Staff Spotlights

San Juan County

Cindy Gauthier

WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program

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

Where did you grow up?
Since the age of 11, I grew up on San Juan Island just outside the town limits of Friday Harbor. Our family had about five acres and we raised mostly sheep and poultry 4-H projects. 

Favorite activities/interests:
I really enjoy the time I spend in my flower garden and yard, going camping in the North Cascade mountains and the Olympic National Park, doing embroidery projects during the winter months, reading historical fiction, visiting with my family, raising chickens and taking walks every evening with my husband. 

What was your 4-H experience?
I was in 4-H for nine years and participated in sheep, poultry, knitting and sewing projects. I really loved raising and showing my sheep. I had a market lamb project every year. Our family had a small flock of about ten head of Suffolk ewes. My three younger sisters also participated in the sheep project and we really enjoyed working together to care, show and raise our animals. 

How did your time in 4-H help you over the years?
I learned a great deal of responsibility caring for our animals which has served me well throughout my life.  I learned to work hard and see the value of my time. In 4-H I worked very diligently to improve my public presentation skills because I was not comfortable at all with this required activity.  Finally, during my last year in 4-H, I was able to give a demonstration without feeling like I would pass out. 

What do you enjoy most about working in 4-H?
I really enjoy my work in 4-H because I like organizing and providing information to the volunteers. This helps them to be successful working with the youth in our community and teaching valuable life skills. 

How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow?
I really enjoy seeing confidence build as youth become proficient at working within their projects. I see youth who, sometimes, start out in 4-H as timid and shy, but who shortly become leaders within their clubs. The success they have within their projects and clubs carries over into many other things they do in their lives. I also really think the friendships and bonds that the youth in our 4-H program form are very special and continue on for many, many years. 

What else would be good to know?
4-H has been a very special and long lasting part of my life that I will always treasure.

Cindy Gauthier
4-H Program Coordinator
WSU Extension San Juan County
(360) 378-4414

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