4-H volunteers play a vital role in youth development

Friday, October 21, 2011

By Claire Garrell

Special to the Tribune

4-H volunteers play a vital role in the ongoing growth and development of the 4-H and Youth Development Program. More than 6,000 volunteers help throughout the state.

4-H gives volunteers the opportunity to serve based upon their interests, skills and time. Coupled with the needs and interests of youth in the local community, it makes the perfect match for fostering a positive relationship among youth and adults.

Volunteers coach judging teams, help at livestock shows, teach how to cook or give a speech.

Retired General Colin Powell stated, "When adults take the time to help young people through 4-H, they exert an enormous, positive influence on the lives of youth." Volunteers also help youth gain important leadership, citizenship and life skills that can be applied to daily living and used in their community.

"Volunteer leaders have helped me develop leadership skills and have taught me how to become a better speaker," said Claire Garrell, Marshall County 4-H member. "They have already made a big difference in my life."

If you would like to become a 4-H volunteer, contact our local Marshall County Extension Office at 359-1929.

The Tennessee 4-H Youth Development Program is a component of the The University of Tennessee Extension Service headquartered in Knoxville. More than 300,000 youth between the ages of 8 and 18 participate annually in the youth development program. More information on Tennessee 4-H can be found at www.4h.tennessee.edu.