By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
If you call the local 4-H program through the local Cooperative Extension office, an automatic message will inform you that “4-H is a group of young people across America who learn by doing.” It certainly is that! The hands-on program, which is led by both professional agriculturalists and community volunteers, works with nearly six million kids and teenagers through school clubs, community activities, and summer camps.
The Overton chapter of this nationwide program is currently conducting a variety of courses and activities for Moapa Valley’s youth. Two such events are a set of weekly classes being held through the end of July.
The first, which takes place at the Cooperative Extension every Wednesday morning, is geared towards kids ages 8-12. It trains kids in STEM-based activities (science, technology, engineering, and math), including robotics, science experiments, drones, and lessons on consumer sciences.
The other course takes place every Wednesday afternoon and focuses on helping teens develop leadership and business skills. This class teaches lessons on writing resumes, preparing for interviews, entrepreneurship, and social media awareness. It also covers money management, teamwork exercises, and coding.
Kody Burris, 15, is a weekly attendant of the 4-H leadership course. He said that he feels like the content he learns there is helpful to him as he prepares for future employment.
“We’ve learned what to expect in an interview,” said Burris, a sophomore at Moapa Valley High School. “We’ve also submitted portfolios. It’s fun learning what jobs people want and how they are introduced to them.”
Course instructor DeShea Wallace graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. She is now a community-based educator for Clark County. Wallace grew up participating in 4-H, and she now works to spread her love for the program.
“[4-H] is really a family,” remarked Wallace. “Even though it’s for the kids, it ends up being an opportunity for the whole family, and I like that aspect of it.”
The 4-H pledge reads, “I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEALTH to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
Through leadership and STEM-based opportunities like those being offered at the Cooperative Extension, local youth will surely be able to fulfill their 4-H pledge as they become more capable and skilled individuals.