High School Graduate Scholarship
How 4-H has impacted me.
The 4-H motto quotes, “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.” This was a statement I was introduced to when I was only six years old, and I would never have imagined how large of an impact it and the organization it represents would have on my life.
I have been a member of 4-H for eleven years. My first project was showing a rabbit at our local fair, and it was one that I pursued for two years. The project following that one was raising, breeding, and showing lambs. Throughout the timeline of eight years, I had a small herd of up to eight ewes, five being owned by me, and one ram. This produced around 40 lambs which would be sold to local community members to be raised as their 4-H or FFA livestock project. The lessons I learned from 4-H and being a livestock producer will follow me through life and lead me to success.
The livestock aspect of 4-H has shown me the meaning of the words “I pledge my head to clearer thinking.” It has also represented “my hands to larger service.” Being a livestock producer taught me to be a forward thinker in stressful situations, such as deciding whether or not to pull a lamb. I have learned to plan accordingly as I created feeding plans for my fair lamb ensuring it would meet the appropriate weight for its body structure. Breeding and raising lambs has taught me to lend my hands to larger service by putting the life of multiple newborn lambs into my hands, resulting in their health and well-being dependent on me. Producing lambs was also a means to serve and create a healthy option for local 4-H members to find solid show stock. Additionally, raising livestock has taught me the importance of money management, and the bigger picture lesson that the more work you put into something, the bigger your reward will be.
4-H has taught me valuable lessons outside of my experience with livestock as well. Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to hold many office positions including president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and reporter. Starting at six years old, I was introduced to meetings and over time learned how to hold and conduct an official one. I was taught the values of public speaking and given countless opportunities to strengthen my skills. 4-H has also taught me the importance of leading by example and being a positive role model to those around you.
I have been able to put the many skills I have learned to use throughout my time in high school. I am a co-founder of a non-profit called Tough As Nails, which was inspired by countless community service events teaching me the impact I can create by giving my time and attention to something. I currently serve as the National Honor Society secretary, FFA sentinel, and senior class president. I had the skills to be a positive teammate throughout seasons of volleyball, and I can step up and be a leader when one is needed.
4-H has encouraged skills and helped me develop life-long habits related to quick, decisive & clear thinking, money management, leadership, community service, and hard work. These lessons will continue to serve me as a result of being a 4-H member as I step wisely in life and will help me to become successful in all things I embark on.
High School Graduate Scholarship
Having been in 4-H since the 3rd grade, there are many things that I have gained and have contributed to shape who I am today. It has helped me exponentially with my ability to speak in public and in front of groups, my drive to always be involved and helping my community, and my understanding of and ability to be a good leader.
What I would say is the biggest skill I have gained being in 4-H is public speaking. I have always been a shy and introverted person who never liked speaking in front of people, and 4-H has given me many good opportunities to practice this skill. Though initially it terrified me, I decided that pushing myself to do presentations each year would be a good way to help me overcome my stage fright. By doing this, I have learned the key aspects of presenting and how to do it well, which has benefited me in not only my high school and running start college classes, but also in both of my jobs as a ski instructor and a coach. Speaking in front of groups of people is a huge part of both of these jobs, and I can’t say without 4-H I’d be able to do that.
Another skill I have gained from 4-H is a drive and passion for community service. Through 4-H, we were always encouraged to help others. This meant that over the years I was able to participate in many different community service projects that sparked a drive for helping my community. When I became president of Rambo Riders, I then had the opportunity to run some of my own community service projects. Though in the past few years I have been less involved in 4-H led community service projects, I have been able to get involved with my High School Key Club, a club dedicated to bettering our community through a variety of community service projects.
Last, another big skill I gained is an understanding of what makes a leader and how best to be one. Through different leadership positions though 4-H, such as president, vice president, and secretary, along with learning and working along many different other leaders, I have gained an understanding of what it means to be a true leader. This has carried over to many other aspects of my life, including at my job, where I was hired not only as a ski instructor, but also as a cadet mentor to help our volunteers understand better how to help instructors, and on the volleyball court, where I was captain for 3 years.
Of course, there are many more ways 4-H benefitted my life, but the ability and confidence to be able to speak in public, a passion for community service, and an understanding of how to be a leader are the biggest ones. I am truly grateful for my time and involvement in 4-H as it has shaped who I am today.
Malina Strong Memorial Scholarship
My name is Grace Utecht, I am 18 years old and I currently live in Spokane Valley. I joined 4-H when I was 10 years old after watching my cousins participate in livestock shows. I wanted to raise lambs too, so I joined Greenacres 4-H club and have been a member ever since.
Over the years, I have participated in numerous projects and activities in 4-H, including livestock shows, KYG (Know Your Government), livestock judging, Adulting 101, and more. During my freshman year, I went to CWF (Citizenship Washington Focus) in Washington D.C. where I got to meet our legislators and learn about leadership. I’ve also taught 4-H members how to raise and show lambs at the 4-H Super Saturday and other events. I was the secretary of my 4-H club for 6 consecutive years, however this year I have taken on the role of president. One of my greatest achievements recently was winning Round Robin at Palouse Empire Fair. I had been working towards this for a while, and I’m extremely thankful to have accomplished my goal. I have been involved in numerous community service projects, however, my most memorable experience was collecting Christmas gifts for a terminally ill 4-year-old and her family of 5. We cleaned her unkept yard, refurbished the landscape, and provided the family with a playset. We also decorated the front yard with Christmas lights and took them down later, redecorating for Valentine’s Day in February.
My involvement in 4-H has played a signiﬁcant role in my decision to attend a four-year college. 4-H has given me direction and has taught me the importance of agriculture, which has pushed me to go into an Ag career ﬁeld. I plan to attend the
University of Idaho, majoring in Agriculture Science, Communication, and Leadership. I hope to then work in administrative management, where I can use my leadership and communications skills to their full potential.
The 4-H pledge is a fundamental part of my life. It has taught me the value of hard work and dedication to a cause. The amazing experiences I’ve had through 4-H have also created better habits in my daily life. The life skills I have gained through 4-H, such as leadership, communication, and teamwork, will be undoubtedly used in my future career and personal life. I plan to continue my involvement in 4-H and give back to my community, as the 4-H pledge exempliﬁes.
Outside of 4-H, I have also been involved in my church youth group and FFA. I am the current chapter president for my FFA chapter and am on the Board for Spokane Area Sheep Producers as a Junior Member as well as a member of the 509 Show Circuit. I’ve worked several years during spring for a local wholesale greenhouse where I assembled color bowls. I’ve worked on my family farm since I was little. My responsibilities on the farm include but are not limited to: taking care of livestock, performing basic repairs on farm equipment, operating equipment, tracking employee hours, and writing checks.
4-H has impacted each part of my life. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities, memories, and friends I have made over the years. I’m eager to see where the skills I’ve learned through 4-H take me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career path in agriculture.
My dream is to leave an impact on our future generations! I started 4-H in with the Bits N’ Spurs club in 2014. Throughout my years in 4-H I was vice president and president. My main project has always been horses, but I learned so much beyond horses that has helped me be successful in my post-secondary education.
4-H showed me how rewarding hard work is because it allowed me to see all my blood, sweat, and tears pay off. I learned many different skills and lessons that will help me in the future such as perseverance, conflict resolution, leadership, public speaking and so much more. 4-H led to my discovery in my passion to benefit future generations through the education of youth. 4-H has influenced my life by helping me get more involved in the community which I still make an effort to do in my new hometown of Ellensburg Washington. I hope that one day my kids will follow in my footsteps and join 4-H. 4-H has taught me how to live a healthy life for myself, how to help others and gave me the resources to do what I love. I exemplify the ‘pledging my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service to my club, community, my country, and my world.’ I focus on what matters, including the people that I love and people in need. I am loyal to what I believe in which is being a good person and always leaving a positive impact wherever I am.
I would not be where I am today without the skills that I developed through 4-H. I learned how to be a confident public speaker. By having this skill, I had the confidence to try out for multiple rodeo queen position, which I ended up getting! I have learned how to manage a large group of people along with how to deal with conflict effectively. 4-H helped me confirm that I want to pursue teaching. After being president and working with younger kids and teaching about concepts that interests me, I learned that I am good at teaching, and I have a passion for education. 4-H has set me up to be successful in my future career and life. I think when someone truly cares about what they are doing, other people adopt that same belief and love for what they are learning. I learned how being open minded shows people that they matter and deserve to be heard, and what they think does count and affect them. Creativity in a leader is something that allows them to think outside the box and bring something to the table that is new and exciting. Another important characteristic is friendliness. People feel much more comfortable when they see a friendly face. People have better relationships with someone who is approachable and respectable, I strive to represent these characteristics. These are the skills I learned in 4H every day. I look forward to returning to Spokane someday to educate the youth in our community!