How long have you been at the county office?
About 8 years. I was with Food $ense a few years before joining 4-H.
Where did you grow up?
Photography, spending time with my niece and nephew, salsa dancing, taking Spanish classes, and taiko (Japanese drumming - even performed at Safeco field). I enjoy travelling and have been to Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina, England and Sweden.
Were you in 4-H as a youth?
I began as a Clover Bud and we started as the Flowering Gourmets club. The name became a problem as we added a rabbit project and people kept asking if we ate our rabbits. As the club grew and became mainly a rabbit project, the name changed to Bashful Bunnies.
What did you like the most?
4-H was truly a family event for us as my sister and some of my cousins were in the same club and another cousin was in the dog project. I grew up in 4-H and always looked forward to the county and state fairs. I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting people from different project areas.
How did your time in 4-H help you over the years?
You hear this a lot with 4-H, watching the shy kid find their voice. That was me. I feel more comfortable speaking in front of people. Also the idea of trying something new and it's ok to make mistakes - that's part of learning.
What do you enjoy most about working in 4-H?
I enjoy seeing the passion and commitment that both adult leaders and youth have for 4-H. I'm always amazed by the time and energy volunteers give to the kids and the program. I also enjoy building partnerships in the community with other organizations serving youth.
How have you seen 4-H help youth as they develop and grow?
We are in the middle of public presentation preliminaries. There are many 4-Hers where this is their first time. I like seeing their enthusiasm even when they are nervous or not sure what to expect. The way others support them is great. A leader encouraged a dad to bring in his daughter to watch a presentation and see what the process was like. When they came in, there were youth ready to invite them to watch their presentation even though they didn't know them. In that one evening I watched all the Essential Elements of 4-H come into play - Belonging, Independence, Generosity and Mastery.
What else would be good to know?
Because of my time in 4-H, I now crave scones whenever I'm at the fair!
4-H Program Coordinator
WSU Pierce County Extension