Head, Heart, Hand, Health Make an Impact

June, 2016

Photo 1by Sarah Beam, John A. Schaad Achievement Scholarship Winner

“Head, Heart, Hands, Health”, four common words that when joined together, hold great meaning for me. For the last twelve years, these four words, which represent the foundation of 4- H, have helped me move from an extremely shy little girl to a confident young woman.

4-H teaches “learn by doing,” which has allowed me to develop m y skills and confidence to become the organized leader that I am today. I went from being too timid to give a   presentation to six friends about my cooking project, to standing in front of hundreds of people and announcing the county award winners. Through my experiences in 4-H I have been encouraged to reach outside my comfort zone so that I could grow and mature as a young woman.

4-H has taught me about communicating with others, it has improved my interviewing skills, and instilled in me the importance of deadlines. My participation in these activities has helped me develop time management, public speaking and other leadership skills. The interviewing skills that I have developed through project judging at both the local and state level have given me the skills and confidence that I will need when applying for internships or co-op experiences.

Through my multiple community service and citizenship activities I have connected with my community and learned to value compassion and generosity. I have learned the importance of helping others and enhancing the world around me. My favorite service project was helping construct a large playground set for our community park that now benefits the youth in our area. It is rewarding to run by the park and see the children playing and know that my time and effort has made a difference in someone’s life. I am thankful for the adults who have taken time to make a difference in my life and I plan to do the same for the next generation.

Through 4-H, I have had the opportunity to promote healthy living by participating in Water First for Thirst. Water First for Thirst teaches people about the effects sugary-sweetened beverages have on health and why people should choose Water First for Thirst. I recently traveled to Washington DC where I represented Ohio at the “Youth Voice: Youth Choice” workshop on healthy living as part of this program. Over the next year I am volunteering as a healthy living advocate teaching others about nutrition, physical activity, and how to make healthy environmental changes in their communities.

As you can tell, 4-H is a big part of my story. Without 4-H, the Sarah Beam that l am today would not exist. Because of this, one of my goals as an adult is to give back to the 4-H program as an adult volunteer. There is no better way to impact the future than to encourage and guide a child as they prepare for life as an adult. 4-H has helped shape me into the person that I am today and has prepared me for who I want to be in the future.

For more information about the John A. Schaad Achievement Scholarship, please see the previous news post.