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4-H Program assists young people to learn to contribute to society

The Archuleta County 4-H Program’s overall mission is to help young people become positive, contributing members of society as they reach adulthood.

The various hands-on activities that 4-H members engage in from ages 8 to 18 strongly support positive youth development and last a lifetime. As 4-Hers near the end of their high school career and look towards the future, the skills, knowledge, experiences and insight they have gained from the Archuleta County 4-H Program will competitively transfer to the workplace and/or college campus.

As we explore new and cutting edge ways to deliver the 4-H program, many of the “tried and true” methods used are still very effective. 4-Hers learn by doing and strive to make the best better, which is why 4-H has been in existence for more than 100 years.

Research by Colorado State University Extension confirms that 4-Hers significantly improve their life skills and make positive behavior changes. Participation in 4-H provides rewarding experiences that prepare youth for the real world. Overwhelmingly, 4-Hers agree that the program has given them leadership opportunities and empowered them to:

• Finish what I start.

• Solve problems.

• Tell others what I know.

• Make good choices.

• Use time wisely.

• Have more confidence in myself.

Projects and programs in 4-H teach young people important life skills. Communication, citizenship, decision-making, leadership, interpersonal relations, and community/global awareness are central to 4-H participation. These skills help prepare young people for their next steps, whether in school or the workplace. Sometimes translating the experiences in 4-H to an employment, award, or school application can seem difficult. Unpaid experiences at any level can cout toward your next goal.

For 4-Hers who have spent many years within the program, it may be difficult to remember all of different projects, community service programs, demonstrations, contests and leadership positions you have accomplished. Keeping and reviewing your 4-H record books are great ways to help you remember. Try to keep a journal and track the hands-on activities you enjoy most, skills you have mastered and subject areas you have studied in-depth.

List Your 4-H skills and experiences.

Which 4-H skills and experiences are fitting for future jobs, award applications or academic interests?

Be aware of and pay attention to your skills and knowledge. This is an ongoing process, so you’ll answer this question many times. It’s important to get started. Make a list. Ask yourself: What can I do? What can I do well? What do I really like to do? What are some of my favorite accomplishments? What are my best skills? Pretend your best friend is writing an introduction for you — what would it say? Don’t forget your personal qualities, too.

Begin to decide on what type of career you would like to have in the future, and then examine your experiences and values that support your workplace and career goals. Maybe you would like to be a television news person or a teacher. How are your demonstrations, illustrated talks, or other speech arts presentations going? Do you enjoy them? How can they be improved? Are you reading and learning about many topics?

If you would like to work in the pet industry, ask yourself what projects you have done involving animals. What do you like about animals? What characteristics make you a good person to work with others’ pets?

Organize your experiences.

How do you organize your experiences and effectively record and present them so employers and schools can get a good idea of what you really can do?

Use your record books to keep track of the time you’ve spent, deadlines set and met, problems faced and how you solved them, and decisions you made. Look over your record books and examine your ability to use resources, including time, materials and people. With so many activities, it’s common to forget details of different accomplishments. Your record books can help you remember. Use the club secretary’s book, too, to help document your activities and your attendance.

Record all your 4-H experiences in a portfolio and keep them together with your copies of resumes, letters of reference, certificates and work samples (photographs, news clippings or anything else you have to show your work). When you exhibit your projects, save your illustrations or photographs and any certificates or ribbons you’ve earned. When you hold a club office such as parliamentarian or president, save a copy of an agenda you especially liked. This folder will document your ability to acquire and use information.

Learn resume basics.

A resume is one way of presenting your background and your strengths. It should incorporate much of the information in your personal portfolio. Working with information is an important skill. You show your ability when you put together your resume. Your thinking skills in organizing materials and your ability as a communicator will also show through.

In general, you will put your strongest and best materials first. Keep your resume brief (one page if possible). Keep it simple. Use active positive language, without slang or jargon. You will show your ability to use technology when you create your resume on the computer or online. Remember to proofread it several times so there are no errors or inaccuracies of any kind.

A chronological resume is a good start. List your accomplishments in order, with dates and a few facts.

Use your resume to highlight both your skills and your actual experiences. You can list two or three of your most important skills and then three or four of your most recent related experiences. You could also group your skills and experiences under Basic Skills, Thinking Skills and Personal Qualities. Another way would be to list the 4-H Life Skills you have learned especially well.

Share your resume to get feedback from friends, leaders, parents, teachers and others. Consider their suggestions as you make your resume tell your story. You can use the various systems you work within for feedback: school, family, local 4-H club, 4-H councils and State 4-H Senate. Sometimes it’s easy to see the leadership experience you are getting. Don’t forget you are also learning about how different people and things work together.

Many resume templates can be found online. Find a template that looks clean and neat and can easily to adapt to your needs. Libraries and school counselors have lots of resume references.

Select references.

Employers want to know if you will be a reliable employee with strong character traits. Award committees want to know if you are deserving and what sets you apart from other applicants. One way they make these determinations about you is by asking questions of people who already know you.

Teachers, coaches, counselors, 4-H leaders, 4-H agents, previous employers, or people for or with whom you have done volunteer work are appropriate references. These are people:

• who are not related to you,

• who know you well enough to be able to answer questions about your abilities and personal characteristics,

• with whom you have had positive experiences.

Before you list anyone’s name as a reference, it is important to get permission first. Ask references in person, by phone, or by letter. An e-mail request may be acceptable, too. Share information with your reference about the application you’re making, your interest in being selected, and the characteristics you think best position you for success. State whether an employer or an award committee will contact your reference, or whether you need the individual to write you a letter of reference.

Applying for college admission, a major reward or a new job takes lots of preparation. Participation in the Archuleta County 4-H program is a wonderful way to strengthen your knowledge, skills and abilities and think about how you qualify for future career opportunities. Make a great impression in your future endeavors by taking advantage of the opportunities 4-H youth development offers today.

To learn more about writing a resume and/or completing applications, contact CSU Extension-Archuleta County Director/Agent Liz Haynes at 264-5931 or e-mail Liz.Haynes@colostate.edu<mailto:Liz.Haynes@colostate.edu>. To become a 4-H member or 4-H volunteer, contact Archuleta County 4-H Program Coordinator Becky Jacobson at 264-5931 or coopext_archuleta4h@mail.colostate.edu<mailto:coopext_archuleta4h@mail.colostate.edu>.

4-H Cookie Dough

Archuleta County 4-H still has many tubs of Cookie Dough for sale. Flavors such as Chunky Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Triple Chocolate, Peanut Butter and M&M are so delicious and easy to make. Have company showing up unexpectedly? Pop some in the oven for a quick snack. Bake sale to attend? Help two fund-raisers at once: Buy cookie Dough from 4-H and sell the cookies at your bake sale for your fundraiser! Tubs cost $12 and $14 and can be frozen up to 6 months! Call the CSU Extension Office at 970-264-5931 to check on availability of certain flavors.

Calendar

June 14 — Mountain View Homemaker, noon.

June 14 — 4-H Leader meeting, 6 p.m.

June 15 — Fair Royalty rehearsal, 6 p.m.

June 16 — Fair Royalty Contest

June 18 — 4-H Float Building meeting, 10 a.m.

June 18 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.

June 18 — 4-H Rocketry Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.

June 20 — Mountain High Garden Club,10 a.m.

June 20 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.

June 20 — 4-H Sports Fishing Project meeting, 4 p.m.

June 22 — Archuleta County 4-H Relay for Life.

June 23 — Archuleta County 4-H Relay for Life.

Check out our webpage at www.archuleta.colostate.edu<http://www.archuleta.colostate.edu/> for calendar events and information.

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