4-H'ers: Committed to community service
By Tyler Cushman
Lisa Yarling is a 10-year 4-H member. When Yarling, a senior in agricultural economics from Shelby County, Ind., was 8-years-old she did 4-H projects like cake decorating and dairy goats.
Dusty Wrightsman says he loves the Murdock 4-H program.
Yarling loved 4-H so much she is now the president of Purdue University's Collegiate 4-H club. Yarling said Collegiate 4-H is different from regular 4-H. There is no cake decorating or live animals. "Our main focus as a club is community service," Yarling said.
In fact, Collegiate 4-H at Purdue just won National Club of the Year. The main reason they won, beating 79 other clubs, was their commitment to community service. "The Club of the Year is picked based on community service projects, social activities, fundraisers and the number of members," Yarling said. Purdue's club, which has around 45 members, has participated in many community service projects.
For the 2004 spring semester, the club is participating in an after-school program at Murdock Elementary in Lafayette, Ind. The Purdue 4-H'ers go to Murdock twice a month and teach leadership skills to second-through fifth-graders. The children who participate have an interest in 4-H, and the Murdock program allows them to learn everything about 4-H.
Yarling said not only is the Murdock after-school program a way to give back to the community, it cna also help club members get jobs. It helps at a job interview when you can tell the employer about the leadership skills you attained from community service, Yarling said.
While Yarling is committed to the community, she also is quick to point out that Collegiate 4-H plans social events. "The club is a good way to meet new people who sh are a common interest," Yarling said.
Eden Stuckey, a 10-year 4-H member from Daviess County, Ind., is a senior in veterinary medicine. Stuckey is the social chair for the club. She says the club has a fall kickoff cookout, and they tailgate at football games. They also have many impromptu social gatherings, like going out to eat after a meeting. "We get to socialize with other clubs and meet lots of people," Stuckey said. "We also do things like play euchre and other games during the meetings."
Anyone is welcome to join Collegiate 4-H, and previous 4-H membership is not required. Yarling and Stuckey both agreed that the Purdue Collegiate 4-H club helps college students build their leadership skills as well as friendships.