How The 4-H Organization Positively Impacted My Life

How The 4-H Organization Positively Impacted My Life

As a child, I loved Art and Craft. I enjoyed using discarded material around the house  to make beautiful home decor products such as flowers, vases, cushions, doormats, to curtains and  much more. Then I found myself using fabric and trimmings from my mother's sewing to make clothing for my doll.

During high school, I became an active 4-H club member interested in culinary arts, sewing, and painting. 

The 4-H club provided me with the leadership skills,  life skills, and technical skills necessary to lead a successful life. It helped me to develop self-discipline, self-awareness, confidence, resilience, and respect. It's hands-on approach encourages young people to participate in various projects. 

As a 4-H club member, I learned coping skills and self-discipline that helped me to develop self-awareness and build self-esteem. This opportunity  provided a strong foundation for me.  I took an avid interest in the projects that were assigned to me. I believed in what the 4 H's (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) stand for and I always recited the 4-H pledge with meaning as I visualized the clover with the letter "H" printed on each leaf. I loved to recite the 4-H Pledge which states,

"I pledge...

My head to clearer thinking,

My heart to greater loyalty;

My hands to larger service, andI

My health to better living

For my club, my community, and my world."

When repeating the pledge, I was instructed to raise my right hand to the side of my head while speaking the first line, lower my hand over my heart while speaking the second line, extend my hand, palm upwards, while speaking the third line, and stand straight while speaking the fourth and fifth lines. I also recited the 4-H motto, 

"To make the best better."

This motto reminded me of the words of St. Jerome who postulates,

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and your better is best."

Both the pledge and motto meant a lot to me growing up. These profound words encouraged me to work hard at whatever I do if I want to be successful. 

I graduated from Teacher's College and during my years in the teaching profession, I became a 4-H club leader, coaching many young girls and boys. I engaged students in extra-curricular activities that provided certain technical skills. I proudly watched them succeed in Culinary Arts, Art and Craft. Some pursued careers in hospitality, fashion design, and other technical areas. 

 My passion for Art and Craft motivated me to  establish my own boutique which provided employment for five ladies in my community. I remember the days I work at my full-time job while sewing and baking became my part time jobs. I baked at home at nights to fill my cake orders, cut the garments, and sew them while the cakes were in the oven. Then I had to measure and cut other material to leave at the store, for the ladies to sew the next day. In the afternoons, I stopped by the store before going home and the cycle continues daily.

Looking back now, I wonder how I managed to  function effectively with a full-time job, a family, and still cater to the needs of customers. Despite this busy schedule,  I never missed the opportunity to fulfill my spiritual obligations at church. God is truly amazing.

During  the COVID-19 shut down, I  used my time to make my own homemade home decor products. With encouragement from family and friends, I eventually established my online store, "Geez Home Decor" which features 95% of my home-made products. 

This early start allowed me to identify my innate potential, explore opportunities that improved my technical skills, and eventually fulfill my purpose in life. As I retired from active service to my community and country, I remain resolute in using the four H's (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) to positively impact the lives of others. 


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