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4-H is Empowering Youth To #BeBoldForChange

March 8, 2017

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Today, on International Women’s Day, organizations, companies, and individuals are celebrating the bold contributions being made by women and for women, leading to a better world for us all.

At 4-H, we are extremely proud our programming provides opportunities to all young people to explore careers and learn skills which will help them solve many of today’s most pressing issues. Issues in fields which have been traditionally led by men and where diverse perspectives are absolutely necessary to come up with the best solutions.

As we plan to host the global 4-H community this summer, we are excited to see the bold moves being made by leaders around the world who believe in the power of 4-H to empower young people to lead better lives for themselves and transform their communities. We know how much passion and energy it takes to start a 4-H club, and to be the first person to do it in your country also takes courage and persistence and determination.

Your boldness is changing lives. Indeed, it also challenges us and pushes us to be bold and ensure the Global 4-H Network Summit puts the empowerment of global 4-H leaders first.

We are so proud to work with leaders like you and support you in nurturing today’s young leaders in agriculture & food security, science & technology, community engagement & communications and the environment & healthy living.

That’s why we are also excited to introduce you to some of these young leaders in the coming months on this blog. In celebration of International Women’s Day and the 2017 #BeBoldforChange theme, we are honoured to introduce you to Canadian 4-H member, Erinn Jones.

Erinn Jones, Canadian 4-H Member, Beef Cattle Rancher & Aspiring Civil Engineer

Erinn_Jones_4HSelected for a 4-H Canada L.E.A.D. Scholarship for Leadership Excellence in the area of Science & Technology, Erinn’s passion for community is another area where she demonstrates her exemplary leadership.

“Having grown up in a small rural community, I understand the strength that a community can have and the importance in giving back to it. I want to be able to give back to my community as it helped me reach my successes thus far.”

It was Erinn’s curiosity and interest in finding new solutions to challenges on their farm that ultimately led her to choose to pursue a career in civil engineering. In only her first year of engineering, she has already recognized the important role she has setting an example for other young women to pursue STEM careers.

“Through hard work, a sound knowledge base and strength of character, I wish to become someone that others look up to and respect. I hope to inspire other women to pursue careers in male dominated professions and follow their passions.”

Growing up on a cattle and grain farm in rural Alberta, 4-H was a natural fit for Erinn, whose siblings, parents and grandparents were also involved in 4-H. Having developed a small cattle herd of her own, one might have naturally expected Erinn to pursue a career in agriculture.

A “Building Futures” program at her high school introduced Erinn to home construction and reinforced in interest in how things are built, inspiring her to pursue civil engineering. A field for which, although she may be outnumbered by men, she is confident she is well prepared, thanks to the skills she learned through 4-H.

In addition to learning about leadership, team work and problem-solving, Erinn speaks highly of 4-H public speaking competitions.

“The communication skills and confidence I was able to gain from speaking in front of large crowds has been invaluable to me.”

Erinn is excited to be part of the global 4-H movement because realizing now how much she has benefited from the program, she sees tremendous potential for other youth to reap its rewards.

Some Fun 4-H Facts About Erinn:

  • She got her parents to help her write speeches before she was old enough to be a 4-H member so she could practice with her older siblings
  • Her cow-calf pair was featured on the Calgary Stampede Cattle Trail
  • One of Erinn’s favourite 4-H members is showing her beef project at 4-H on Parade at the Calgary Stampede grounds, a regional 4-H show which attracts 4-H members from a wide variety of clubs in Central Alberta
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