By Brittany Babineaux, 4-H Military Partnerships Intern
This week is National Volunteer Week, a time to highlight the contributions volunteers make every day all across our state. Each day we will be celebrating the award winning service of Louisiana 4-H volunteers.
Ms. Sheri Patout grew up as a St. Mary 4-H’er, raised her children in the Iberia 4-H program and continues the tradition by volunteering with local Iberia 4-H members. Throughout her 14 years as a 4-H volunteer, Ms. Patout has focused on teaching youth about the 4-H Pillars of Character. The importance of these lessons creates a well-rounded person of character. Ms. Patout also assists with livestock programs in Iberia Parish by judging, teaching how to judge, serving as a mentor and the poultry chairperson on the 4-H Livestock Advisory Committee.
“I love seeing the 4-H Pillars of Character in my children, students and people that have once been enrolled in 4-H. What great qualities they possess. My family and I grew up with all the opportunities that 4-H had to offer, and also my husband. By raising my two boys in 4-H and becoming a 4-H leader I felt the need to adopt my 4-H members as my own to keep the tradition going,” Patout explains.
When working with elementary students, Ms. Patout encourages participation in service-learning projects. Students have worked with Ronald McDonald House and Tractor Safety and Food for Families Food Drive. Patout feels that 4-H projects allow youth to be a part of something, work with others and learn while having fun.
“It is a joy to continue to teach these young 4-H members and to feel so proud of them when they are winners,” says Ms. Patout. “If you are motivated to grow and improve because you really enjoy what you are doing, you can't help but be a winner and make the best better.”
After all these years, Ms. Sheri Patout still finds joy in the work she does with 4-H members. By teaching members what it means to be a good citizen, she helps them improve their community, accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture