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Appreciates Hamilton County’s 4-H programs

October 12, 2011
The Daily Freeman Journal

To the editor:

Preparing our kids for college is more than a journey, it is a labor of love. Saving for college, choosing a college, maintaining a high GPA, and encouraging community service so that our kids are well-rounded takes a commitment of, not only the child, but the parents and the community that surrounds that child. College is expensive. College is competitive.

I am a parent of a senior who is looking nervously toward her future. I know that she is prepared and I'd like to give credit to an organization that helped get her there. You see, I am the parent of a 4-H'er. I was not in 4-H when I was a child because I thought it was for farm kids. I didn't know then that 4-H is about leadership, communication, and citizenship. 4-H is about building real life experiences with those 21st century skills they learn in the classroom. Kids are tackling projects in robotics, engineering, natural resources, consumer management, photography and hundreds of other relevant issues. 4-H programs exist in rural and urban areas throughout the United States, and is extending its influences outside of our borders.

My daughter has now received two large scholarships outside of 4-H for her work done within 4-H. 4-H prepared her for writing college scholarship essays, determining goals, and gave her the confidence she needed to speak to a large group of people about those goals. Every year, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library chooses a group of 15 young people who did outstanding community service projects to recognized in an award known as the Uncommon Student award. This year, the top three projects were submitted by 4-H'ers.

Hamilton County has one of the strongest 4-H programs in the state, but we have been losing kids. Perhaps they don't join because they see it as time consuming or not beneficial.

As a parent, I can understand how difficult it is to juggle a job, homework, after-school activities, and family commitments. That being said, I can tell you that 4-H has been instrumental in providing my child with the tools, experiences, and connections she will need to be successful in college and beyond.

I believe Hamilton County students should seriously consider becoming part of this program. We are blessed to be a part of a community that has a rich 4-H heritage and the community wants to support our kids and help them to succeed in the future. We all want our kids' journey to lead them on to reach their full potential.

4-H can help make that happen. Please call the extension office today and sign up your child.

Sherry Leksell

Webster City



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