Hello everyone. I want to start by thanking you for the opportunity to interview for the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator position in Collier County. I would like to begin my presentation by introducing myself, talking a little bit about my education and professional experiences, and then discussing what 4-H Youth Development means to me.
As some of you may know, my name is Abrea Johnson. I am seeking employment with Collier County Extension because I enjoyed the time I spent working for the Ohio State University Extension 4-H in Geauga County. I currently live in Hudson, Ohio but consider the Naples area to be like a second home. My husband and I have family and friends that live and vacation here and I would love the opportunity to live here and for my family to become a permanent part of the community.
I recently graduated from the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health program. Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy oversees the coordination of the MPH program but I received my degree from the University of Akron. My undergraduate work was completed at Kent State University and I received a Bachelors of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Family Life Education. My bachelors and masters degrees prepared me to develop and deliver educational programs to both children and adults in a community setting. Earning my degrees strengthened skills such as working as a team, communication, and organization.
The MPH program has several focus areas. My main focus was in program coordinating, social and behavioral health, and research. My Capstone involved designing and implementing a research project that investigated car seat placement compliance in Stark County Ohio. The project took 9 months to complete and resulted in a written report and presentation for Safe Kids Stark County and the Stark County Health Department. My Capstone project was experiential learning and emphasized the importance of learning by doing, a key aspect of the 4-H. My masters degree relates to Extension and 4-H Youth Development because we are often asked to respond to the needs of the community. This need may be providing educational materials for teachers or advisors, or it may be a recruiting judges for a 4-H event. It also taught me to organize my time and priorities, network to utilize community resources, and work with concrete deadlines.
My most recent, relevant professional experience was as a Program Assistant for the Ohio State University Extension office located in Burton, Ohio. My main job responsibility was to organize, plan, and manage programs for the 4-H. Not only did I assist the extension educator on programs, I also was in charge of several programs on my own. Projects which I was in charge of included: Miscellaneous project judging, Style Revue, Demonstration contest, Illustrated talks contest, and the Health and Safety speaking contest.
I also assisted planning and managing events such as new volunteer training, volunteer annual update, the screening and hiring of new volunteers, member recognition ceremony, volunteer appreciation night, 4-H camp, the endowment fundraiser, and the Great Geauga County Fair. If you know anything about Geauga County, know that they take their Great Geauga County Fair very seriously. Its one of the longest running county fairs in the nation, 188 years strong. These events required close attention to detail, proper time management, and good communication. A flexible schedule was also required as some of the events were in the evening and on weekends.
Assisting with the training of new volunteers and continuing education for current volunteers was a large part of my job. Our county had over 150 volunteers and each year we had an annual update to prepare the clubs for the new year’s events and programs. Several other job responsibilities included maintaining communication about 4-H events and programs with volunteers through newsletters, press releases, media outlets, email, and phone calls. I also worked closely with the 4-H Advisory Committee to advance the 4-H in new positive directions. One of those directions was fundraising for the 4-H Endowment Fund. The ability to work with the community is an important skill to have when working in a volunteer organization. I have a great deal of experience in this respect.
Next, I would like to talk a little bit about 4-H Youth development. Positive youth development is the main goal of the 4-H. Positive youth development recognizes that all children and young adults have strengths. When these strengths are aligned with programs and resources that encourage healthy development, youth will make a positive contribution to the community. In youth development, a child or young adult that cultivates each of the characteristics listed above, also known as the 5 C’s, is considered to be thriving. It is postulated that thriving youth then develops an additional attribute called contribution. Contribution is the addition of positive behaviors and ideology to the self, family, community, and society.
Lets take a look at the 5 characteristics of a thriving youth and see what each one means. Competence is the idea that youth have a positive view their actions and abilities in specific areas. These areas can include academics, social, family, cognitive, or vocational. Confidence is an internal sense of positive of self worth and self efficacy. Connection can be described as a positive bond with people or institutions that are reflected in multidirectional exchanges. These exchanges can be between peers, family, clubs, schools, or the community. Character is the possession of standards for correct behavior, morality, and integrity. Caring is having a sense of compassion, empathy, and sympathy for others in society.
There is a connection between the 5 C’s of positive youth development and the essential elements of 4-H. Lets discuss briefly, the 4-H essential elements. Mastery is the feeling and belief that youth are capable of success. This is very similar to competence. Independence is the idea that youth can influence people and events around them. This ties into the ideas of character and confidence. Belonging is knowing you are cared about by others. This is very similar to the idea of connection. Lastly, we have generosity. This is the idea that youth can help others through their own actions. This is related to character and caring.
The actual impact of the 4-H is different for everyone that participates but research shows that participants are more likely to make healthy choices, excel in school and science, and contribute more to their community. When I was working for the Geauga County 4-H I saw this impact first hand.
These are some things that I think of when I think of the 4-H. Working for an organization that is dedicated to positive youth development is rewarding. Working with the community brings a sense of connection. Organizations like the 4-H have a beneficial impact on youth and can result in positive growth a development.
There are several key abilities that I feel a 4-H Extension Agent must have in order to be successful. I listed a few above. As a program assistant with Ohio State University Extension I helped recruit, hire, train, and inspire volunteers. It was a great experience to help volunteers have a constructive impact on youth. The ability to plan and conduct programs is something I have been successful at throughout my entire professional and educational experience. My favorite program from the 4-H was the Style Revue and fashion show. Responding to the needs of the volunteers and members is a fundamental job duty as an extension educator. Good communication skills are essential to understanding needs and responding correctly. I have always been drawn to careers that work with the community and public. My experiences have prepared me to work with people of diverse backgrounds. The ability to plan short and long term goals was emphasized in my maters program. 4-H events can take a long time to plan and prepare for. This concludes my presentation. Thank you for your time. Are there any questions?
4-H Youth Development
Abrea Johnson Collier County Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development Candidate -Introduction -Educational Background -Professional Experiences -4-H Youth Development Making the Best Better
<ul><li>Abrea Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Currently reside in Hudson, Ohio. </li></ul><ul><li>Very familiar with Naples and the surrounding communities. </li></ul>Introduction
Educational Background Master of Public Health August 2010 The University of Akron Akron, Ohio Overall GPA: 3.80 Bachelor of Arts December 2005 Kent State University Kent, Ohio Human Development and Family Studies Family Life Education Overall GPA: 3.36 Cum Laude
<ul><li>Focus areas for masters were project coordinating, social and behavioral health, and research. </li></ul><ul><li>Capstone was experiential learning, learning by doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Relates to Extension efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>Taught me to organize time and priorities. </li></ul>Educational Background
<ul><li>Program Assistant for The Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development. </li></ul><ul><li>Main job duty was to organize programming for the 4-H. </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Misc. project judging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Style revue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstration contest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illustrated talks contest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health and safety speaking contest </li></ul></ul>Professional Experiences
<ul><li>Assisted extension educator with organizing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New volunteer training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer annual update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Screening and hiring of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer appreciation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4-H camp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Endowment fundraiser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geauga County Fair </li></ul></ul>Professional Experiences
<ul><li>Other job duties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruiting, training, and continuing education for 4-H volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining communication about 4-H events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work closely with the 4-H advisory committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assisted with the 4-H Endowment Fundraiser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with the community </li></ul></ul>Professional Experiences
4-H Youth Development The 5 C’s of Youth Development Competence Positive view of ones actions in specific areas such as school, social, cognitive, or family. Confidence A positive internal sense of self worth and ability. Connection Positive bonds with people and institutions where a multidirectional exchange in both directions is present. Character Possession of standard for correct behavior, a sense of morality, and integrity. Caring A sense of empathy and sympathy for others.
4-H Youth Development Connecting the 5 C’s and 4-H Essential Elements Mastery The feeling and belief that one can be successful Competence Independence To feel that one can influence people and events Character Confidence Belonging Knowing that you are cared about by others Connection Generosity To help others through actions Caring Character
4-H Youth Development Contribute to society Make healthier choices Excel in school and sciences
<ul><li>What does working for 4-H mean to me? </li></ul>4-H Youth Development Growth Positive Impact Fun Connection Rewarding Community
4-H Youth Development Ability to recruit, train, lead, and inspire volunteers Ability to plan and conduct programs Respond to member and volunteer needs Ability to develop and maintain community relationships Have both short and long term goals