Washington State 4-H Youth Development Program

County Staff Spotlights

Pacific County

Toni Gwin

WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program

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

Where did you grow up?
In Axford Prairie, Washington.

Favorite activities/interests:
Clam digging, walking, and a day at home to myself.

What is your 4-H experience?
I started at eight years old and was a member of the Humptulips Valley Hustlers. My projects were gardening, expressive arts and forestry.

How did your time in 4-H help you over the years?
4-H taught me how to set, work, and evaluate personal goals. 4-H gave me confidence as an adult to take leadership risks.

What do you enjoy most about working in 4-H?
I enjoy making a difference in the community.

How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow? 
I watch this county’s 4-H members try and then spread their wings to fly. It constantly amazes me the different directions our members take when they leave the program. Every year at fair I reconnect with some and smile at the stories they relate. Public speaking skills, general knowledge, parliamentary procedure and the connection of the clover are what I hear most often from our returning alumni. Stories about promotions because they knew how to give a public presentation. Stories about buying meat in Mexico, using their market livestock knowledge to get a tender cut. Stories about becoming chairperson of a community project because they had experience with calling for motions. Stories of overcoming freshman loneliness by discovering there were six 4-H alums on their dorm floor. It is never what you expect that makes a difference but the whole adventure of the program.

Toni Gwin
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
WSU Extension Pacific County
(360) 875-9331

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Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6248 USA