On Sunday, November 15, 2020 six Buffalo County 4-H scholarship finalists interviewed with Annie Lisowski and Linda Larson, both 4-H volunteers and directors of the Friend of Buffalo County 4-H trust fund board. The graduating seniors engaged in conversations about the impact of their 4-H leadership and service-learning experiences as well as discussed how they believe Buffalo County 4-H can relate to and support young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scholarship winners will be awarded their plaques and cash scholarships in Spring 2021.
“One of my favorite 4-H projects is the meat goat project. One thing that I was so grateful to experience, and I will never forget while owning goats, is the time I had to help one of my goats give birth. I have seen birthing before but have never had to help, so this was an amazing opportunity for me. One of my goats had a breached birth and I was able to help her. She was having triplets, sadly one was stillborn, and another died during birth. However, I was able to save the one that I got to pull out of the birth canal. I then got to take care of the premature baby until she got more mature and able to do things on her own. This was really one of those moments that helped me choose my future career. Ever since that experience, I have known that I definitely want to be a veterinarian. Being able to help my goat birth gave me a chance to experience what a veterinarian would do and what I would possibly be doing in the future.”
“My biggest learning experience with being a leader was being employed at the 4-H Afterschool Program. In the past two years, I’ve led the kids in different activities, taught them new games and skills, and made connections with them while I’ve worked there. It has taught me so much about taking responsibility, sticking to my word, and even behavior management. These are skills that I will use for the rest of my life, especially as I go on to earn my teaching degree. …Another way that I have made connections with younger 4-H members in Buffalo County is through being a camp counselor at Camp Kinnissippewa. Being a camp counselor is probably one of my favorite activities that I’ve been able to do with 4-H and one of the most influential. I loved being able to step up and be a role model for the campers, just like my camp counselors were for me when I was a camper.”
“Although I have only been in 4-H for four years, I have learned a great deal and share my knowledge with other members. I am very proud of what I have accomplished. …The poultry project not only increased my knowledge of poultry, but I also gained experience in public speaking by talking to the judges during the fair. I have influenced others through this project because I show that it is very fun. I have been teaching another 4-H member what I have learned.”
“Through experience, I have learned that there is a difference between community service and service-learning. Community service is voluntary work done to benefit my community, while service-learning expands my volunteering experience where I can take time to reflect on the service provided and how it affected me personally and the group I provided service to. I have learned that service is the act of helping others without expecting to receive anything in return. Service-learning makes a difference in the world and in other people’s lives. Service can make a community come together during times such as flooding, hard winters, or community celebrations. The service-learning experiences that I have been involved with have impacted how I view the world.”
“Everyone has their own unique leadership style and philosophy that they develop through all the different experience that they take a part of. Each experience has its own benefits to them and what we get out of them is a result of what we put in. …The dictionary definition of leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a goal. Yet this is just the general definition and we each create our own definition and meaning of leadership. Leadership to me is the collaboration of a group of people to achieve a common goal in a safe and inspiring environment. …Going to the Buffalo County Leadership Association meetings for the first time was an eye opener for me. The partnership between youth and adults that was used to accomplish a common goal for the others that are involved in 4-H was something I had never really experienced before and was not what I was expecting to see. I now realize that having this collaboration between the youth and adults in 4-H is essential because the organization is primarily directed at the development of youth into tomorrow’s leaders.”
“4-H has helped to define who I am and has helped to steer me on the path to my future. I started at a very young age building model airplanes for the fair. I had an interest in aviation, so I thought that it was fitting to make these models. But as I continued making more complicated models, I got much more interested in airplanes. I enjoyed seeing how they worked and all the intricate parts that fit together. Looking back, that fueled my passion for aviation and led me to where I am today, training to get my pilot’s license. I received my solo endorsement a few months ago, and I am getting close to completing the training. It all started with 4-H fueling a passion that led to an accomplished dream.”