Northern Manitoba Volunteer Creates Meaningful Opportunities for Youth
May 16, 2017
4-H Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Antonio
Volunteers are crucial to the success of 4-H around the world, so this week we’re shining the 4-H spotlight on volunteer Cheryl Antonio. Cheryl is a Truancy Officer, Educational Assistant, DJ, Web Page Designer and leader of The Pas Helping Hands 4-H Club in northern Manitoba, Canada.
In Canada, 4-H was founded in Roland, Manitoba in 1913, initially as the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs. Soon after the success of the program in Manitoba, 4-H spread across the country. Today, countless volunteers form the backbone of the 4-H movement in Canada. We are looking forward to meeting Cheryl, the 4-H Manitoba delegation, and all our volunteers this summer in Ottawa!
Cheryl Antonio, 4-H Manitoba (Canada)
What projects does your 4-H club do or what club projects are common in your area?
Foods (a large variety of projects), Crafts (again, a large variety), Outdoor Living, Geocaching, Small Animals, Babysitting, Weather Tracking, Gardening, Scrapbooking, Sewing, Money & More, Smart Cents, Healthy Living, Adventures in 4-H, and Cloverbuds.
Why did you join 4-H?
I joined 4-H in the 1980s when my mother signed my sister and I up for the sewing project. As an adult and parent, I registered my own children so they could experience the amazing activities and events 4-H offers. I am a huge advocate for community and 4-H is a perfect place to learn the benefits and rewards of community. Working in education, I also am aware of the struggles so many endure in public speaking. Understanding the importance of this skill, I am a great supporter of the 4-H communications movement.
What is your favorite 4-H memory?
Achieving the goals set out in my project! Seeing the end product of my sewing was a wonderful feeling and I still remember how proud I was to wear something I made myself.
Why are you excited to be part of the global 4-H movement?
The global 4-H movement is so important to me as we will make lifelong connections with other 4-H lovers. The 4-H family is something to treasure, both locally and internationally. To share experiences, ideas, motivations, and so much more is going to make this program even better than it is today!
What do you do outside 4-H?
Although my work is important to me, my jobs with the School Division and in the music field have opened so many doors for me within my community. Being a volunteer is what makes my life more meaningful. I began volunteering, like my parents did, to ensure my children had many opportunities. As a mother of 3 boys, living in a northern, remote, small town, low cost activities were what I sought out and are what I created. Now, as a grandparent, my hobbies don’t just include volunteering, painting, photography, acting in musicals, and reading, but I am fully able to enjoy the activities my grandchildren participate in!
What else do you want to share about 4-H?
4-H truly does encourage you to be all you can, even for volunteers. There are so many wonderful opportunities waiting to be had and so many who will step forward and let 4-H in.
Learn how to get involved with the global 4-H movement and volunteer your time at the Global 4-H Network Summit in Ottawa, Canada this July at global-4-h-network.com/volunteer.
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