The 4‑H experience taught you responsibility, compassion, respect and the value of hard work. It helped you become a confident kid and adult.
Help kids have the same great experience – share your #4HGrown story. Visit the 4-H National page below.
In this article:
|RYAN PERKINS, MD|
|DR. ERIN MATURIN|
|DR. MAURICE GIPSON|
|EBONY AND JANELL MARTIN|
|EVAN BERGERON, J.D|
|ROGER P. HAMILTON, JR|
|STANLEY CELESTINE, JR|
|XAVIER BELL AND MICAH DENESSE|
4-H SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY BOARD MEMBER
Jewel Guidry has volunteered more than 2,400 hours of service through Louisiana 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) related programs. She led a SET mini-club in her parish, which included two interactive workshops for youth on wetland habitats. Participants tested salinity levels, played wetlands bingo and discussed non-native species. Guidry enjoyed this service saying, “I love coming to SET Club meetings because I get to help younger 4-H members learn science through having fun.” As an active 4-H member, Guidy participated in the Youth Wetlands Program, exhibited swine, served as a LOST camp counselor and competed in several SET related contests. She notes, “4-H has allowed me to gain leadership skills and confidence that cannot be taught in a classroom. The 4-H SET program helped me to realize what career path I will follow.” Guidry will soon begin her college journey, majoring in education with a minor in biology. She plans to become a science teacher.
2003-2004 LA 4-H PRESIDENT
Ryan Perkins credits 4-H for helping form the foundation that led to his career serving others in the field of medicine. “As a physician, I continue to draw daily upon the lessons cultivated many years ago by 4-H. Although I didn’t participate in showing livestock or have any involvement in farming, 4-H was instrumental in the development of my communication and leadership skills. By instilling the confidence to speak publicly in front of large groups, I’ve had the opportunity to address the Louisiana Legislature about the value of 4-H and inspire young minds about the limitless possibilities available. I am indebted to 4-H for helping to lay the foundation that aided in transforming me into the person that I am today.”
ST. LANDRY PARISH
SEA GRANT KNAUSS LEGISLATIVE FELLOW
Anna Normand’s 4-H story shows how one experience can have a major impact. The St. Landry Parish 4-H alumna hasn’t looked back since attending Louisiana 4-H Marsh Maneuvers Camp in high school. “My most influential experience was 4-H Marsh Maneuvers Camp where I learned that Louisiana coastal ecosystems are gravely threatened by subsidence. I also realized the tremendous value these wetlands ecosystems provide for seafood production, storm protection, coastal industry, and biodiversity. Since this transformative experience, I have pursued a path linking science, outreach, and environment governance. As a National Science Foundation Fellow, I am in my final stages of a Ph.D. studying wetland chemistry where I research how soil chemistry affects wetland sustainability. Concurrently, I am working at the US Senate in the Commerce Committee as a Sea Grant Knauss Legislative Fellow. I can say with complete confidence that the skills I developed in 4-H and the impactful week at Marsh Maneuvers have propelled my career trajectory and success.”
PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARD WINNER
Ashini Modi, a 12-year-old Shreveport 4-H member, established a 1,500-book library for children at a local homeless shelter. She collected books from schools, public libraries and thrift shops. The books were placed in a room at the Providence House shelter. Modi and her family decorated the room with handmade trees and tropical animals and named it the “Reading Rainforest.” “I sincerely hope that every child at Providence House will develop a love for books, which can open many new doors for them,” Modi said. Modi was honored for her efforts by receiving a 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Award!
NATIONAL 4-H SALUTE TO EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER
Carolyn Lang is a 40-year Winn Parish 4-H member and volunteer. Lang has been praised by colleagues for her innovative club meetings and consistent promotion of youth voice. She encourages 4-H clubs to find their vision and direction by identifying club needs, wants and three major focus areas at the beginning of the year. Lang’s volunteer legacy extends to roles such as coordinating her school Body Walk and countless service projects. Notable service projects include sock collection for servicemen and the award- winning Atlanta High School “Goes Red/Raising Awareness for Heart Disease” project. She also led initiatives such as the 2013 Science Day Project. This included a month-long after school STEM adventure with hands-on mapping skills, a GPS geocaching hunt and guest speakers. Lang was recognized by National 4-H Council for her outstanding service with the 2015 4-H Salute to Excellence Award.
ST. THOMAS MORE COACH & ALUMNI DIRECTOR
Coach Danny Broussard launched his successful basketball career in an unlikely place, a 1977 4-H game. Broussard coached the 4-H basketball team to tournament victory his senior year, and instantly knew he wanted to become a coach. More than 32 years of coaching later, Broussard is the fifth coach in Louisiana High School Athletics Association history to achieve 900 wins. He credits lessons learned in 4-H, such as goal setting and confidence building, for aiding his career. As a coach and alumni director at St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, Broussard has influenced multiple generations with his passion and drive. He notes, “4-H has inspired me to be the man I am today!".
ST. MARY PARISH ALUMNA
BOARD CERTIFIED PEDIATRIC DENTIST
“During my years in 4-H, I was able to serve as a camp counselor for younger 4-H’ers attending camp. It was here that I discovered my desire to help shape the lives of youth in our community. I was also a member of the State Food and Fitness Board, which allowed me to help educate others on healthy living. I have carried this knowledge with me to help me educate my patients today regarding healthy foods for their teeth as well as their bodies. I will be forever grateful for the caring individuals who took the time to show me compassion and constantly encourage me on my journey to becoming a pediatric dentist. I hope to carry on those same qualities of compassion and patience in my everyday practice while inspiring today’s youth.”
CONCORDIA PARISH ALUMNUS
ARKANSAS STATE ASSISTANT VICE CHANCELLOR FOR DIVERSITY
“Joining 4-H in Concordia Parish as a fourth grader, I had no idea that one day I would have the opportunity to travel the country as an ambassador for Louisiana 4-H! I once contributed to a news article entitled, ‘4-H not just cows and cooking.’ Although humorous, this title captured the essence of my 4-H experience: leadership development. 4-H not only gave me my first leadership position, but it also prepared me for the real world and I haven’t looked back. Since that fourth grade year, I have gone on to achieve great success that would not have been possible without Louisiana 4-H.”
ST. MARTIN PARISH
STATE FOOD AND FITNESS CAMP PARTICIPANTS
State 4-H Food and Fitness Camp was designed by youth 4-H Food and Fitness Board ambassadors to help families create healthy eating habits and learn activities to make fitness an enjoyable family activity. Mother daughter duo, Ebony and Janell Martin grew closer while making lifestyle changes at camp. “My most memorable camp experience was bonding with my daughter, especially while exercising and eating healthy,” said Ebony. “After camp, some changes we made were playing more together and using this as a base of exercise for our family. We also eat out less, and if we do eat out, we are more health conscious.” Food and Fitness Camp is an annual event available to 4-H members and families across the state!
ASSUMPTION PARISH ALUMNUS
ATTORNEY AT LAW
Evan Bergeron translated his skills learned in 4-H into a successful law career. “Most people say that public speaking is absolutely terrifying; but I do it for a living. As an attorney in New Orleans, my practice regularly takes me before judges, juries and any number of audiences. I’m also regularly called on to communicate complex legal or factual positions and to negotiate and interact with people from all backgrounds. Starting in the fourth grade at Pierre Part Primary School, 4-H gave me the opportunity to begin expressing myself and connecting with other students. These relationships, often involving teamwork and a common goal, provided the formation to excel at public speaking, negotiation and consensus building. 4-H has given me the tools to be an effective communicator, and I’m grateful to it every day.”
STATE 4-H CITIZENSHIP BOARD MEMBER
For Joel Thompson, 4-H is a family tradition. “I am a fourth generation 4-H member. My great-grandmother, grandfather and mother were all 4-H members who went on to become 4-H agents, 4-H club leaders and life-long 4-H volunteers. Their example taught me what it truly means to pledge my head, heart, hands and health to the betterment of my club, community, country and world. As a result, 4-H has become more to me than just winning blue ribbons or attending summer camp. It is a foundation for my future that connects me to my past. I’m proud to say that 4-H has always been a huge part of my life, and thanks to my family’s 4-H legacy, I’m sure it always will be.” Thompson is an active 4-H member on local and state levels.
2015 AG IN THE CLASSROOM TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Judy Morgan, fourth-grade teacher at Charles Burke Elementary, serves as coordinator of the 4-H School Garden Initiative Program at her school. She was honored as the Louisiana Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year for her efforts. The award was affirmation that the 4-H school garden is a huge benefit to her class, Morgan said. Each class has its own containers to grow their plants, and the garden features a crawfish pond where students plant rice. After eating mustard greens grown in the garden, her students convinced cafeteria staff to include the item on the school’s menu! As an innovative educator, Morgan uses gardening to help teach math, science and writing. Morgan reports the garden gets the children out of their seats, and they are enthusiastic about what they do and learn. “This reminds you of what really matters. It’s been an adventure.”
ELEMENTARY TEACHER & AGMAGIC ATTENDEE
Nancy Moore, fourth-grade teacher and 4-H leader at Elm Grove Elementary has attended AgMagic at the State Fair for the past five years. Her visits have included her three co-teachers and 80 students who have gained information related to forestry, gardening, nutrition, animals and entomology. Moore states, “It is amazing that the students live and attend school in a rural farm community but know little or nothing about Louisiana agriculture/products.” She utilizes the AgMagic resources she receives by incorporating them into her yearly lessons. She says these educational opportunities have provided her students with a better knowledge of what Louisiana agriculture is truly about.
ST. TAMMANY PARISH
4-H LIVESTOCK PARTICIPANT
Being passionately involved in 4-H comes naturally for Noah Roheim. This 17-year-old 4-H member has competed in 4-H horse shows since age nine and expanded his pursuits to include livestock demonstrations, judging and premier exhibitor. Roheim has been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and Addison’s disease, but this never stops him from showing or helping fellow exhibitors. In high school, Roheim introduced broiler chicken showmanship to his classmates. After running out of space to care for the chickens, he transfered his broilers to school. “My Ag teacher began teaching poultry to the other students. For the 2015 State Livestock Show, my school ordered 500 broilers. I helped teach how to care for the broilers. Amazingly, eight out of 10 Northshore students placed in showmanship at the State Livestock Show. 4-H has taught me how to be passionate and to take pride in anything I do.”
IBERIA PARISH ALUMNUS
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY - 15TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Roger P. Hamilton, Jr., Iberia Parish 4-H alumnus and Assistant District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District Attorney Office, remains active in 4-H as a parent and volunteer. As a 4-H member, Hamilton gained leadership and life skills. He served in numerous 4-H leadership positions including club officer and camp counselor, and was consistently encouraged to participate in community service. He later utilized these skills while assuming leadership roles in a professional environment. Through training with his 4-H agents and demonstrations, Hamilton acquired public speaking skills he uses every day in the courtroom. He believes in the value of 4-H saying, “4-H encourages social skills in interpersonal relationships with youth and adults.”
BRONZE LEVEL MASTER VOLUNTEER
Scott Lee, high school teacher and four-year 4-H volunteer, sees a greater purpose to his many hours spent with 4-H members. “The greatest impact I will have on this world will be the many youth I have the chance to meet and prepare for a bright and promising future through the 4-H program. 4-H, more than any other organization I know of, truly impacts youth as they grow into adulthood. Participating on state boards, being a camp counselor and serving as a club leader give youth life skills. I believe these activities and many more help prepare our youth and shape their voice as they become the leaders of tomorrow. I teach at a public high school and see at-risk youths continually. 4-H provides a sense of caring and belonging that many of these youth might not otherwise receive.”
PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARD WINNER
Stanley Celestine, Jr., a sixteen-year-old Cottonport 4-H member, created the “Healthy Avoyelles” initiative to decrease childhood obesity and improve community health. He applied for grants to conduct events such as a festival where poor families receive basic health services, attend healthy cooking seminars and visit a health and wellness walk. These events have reached nearly 2,000 children. “I set out to educate families about the health risks associated with child obesity, the many causes and how to create a healthier lifestyle,” said Celestine. This outstanding 4-H member received a 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Award for his efforts!
NATIONAL AG DAY REPRESENTATIVES
Collegiate 4-H members Xavier Bell and Micah Denesse traveled to Capitol Hill to represent Louisiana 4-H at National Ag Day. The pair spoke with congressional aides on the importance of agriculture, participated in National Ag Day activities and attended a leadership and advocacy training at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. “For me, being a minority, 4-H has helped me better understand Louisiana agriculture, and I wanted to get that message to our representatives in Congress,” Bell said. The National Ag Day program included students from across the country involved in 4-H, FFA and other agriculture groups. After graduation, Bell plans to work as a 4-H agent, saying 4-H has had a profound influence on his life. Denesse wants to work in coastal restoration, something he became passionate about while in 4-H.