The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical "learn by doing" experiences encourages youth to experiment, innovate and think independently.
These principles are fully embraced by Jackie Goza, area 4-H/youth extension agent.
She was hired for the position after Isaac Muñoz switched his focus to agricultural projects in Montrose County.
Jackie Goza was involved in 4-H, rodeo and livestock when she was young. Born in Montrose, she grew up in Fruita and attended the University of Northern Colorado after graduating from high school. She obtained a degree in elementary education and taught school for seven years.
Although she's taking a break from teaching, she is still involved in youth development at a different level. She believes her educational background meshes well with the curriculum offered through the 4-H program.
She also worked as a parent educator for Bright Future, planning programming with volunteers and leaders.
"Extension goes hand in hand with what I've done in the past," she said.
She's been on the job since March, getting to know 300-plus 4-H members, about 100 volunteer leaders and all the parents, fair board members and CSU Extension staff it takes to pull off the county fair every year. "I felt my first fair was a real success, and I'm off to a good start," she said.
With strong adult volunteers, Delta County is able to offer 26 4-H clubs and a wide spectrum of curriculum options.
"Anybody can be involved; you don't have to live on a farm," she said.
Goza recently took about 10 4-H members to a state conference in Fort Collins where they had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and she attended workshops for extension agents. That experience reaffirmed her decision to return to 4-H. "I truly believe in what 4-H represents, and the values it teaches our kids," she said.
They're the same values she is teaching her two young daughters, ages 6 and 2.
In addition to putting names to the faces of 300-plus kids and their parents, she's learning how things are done. Coming up quickly is
4-H Achievement Night, which will be held Oct. 20 in Cedaredge. Awards are presented, but above all 4-H members are recognized for all they've learned during the past year, and the ongoing support from volunteers and businesses which make the program a success is acknowledged.blog comments powered by Disqus