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4-H Club Leader Grows Resilience and Empathy

For more than 33 years, Priscilla Weaver has been teaching youth about animal science through the 4-H club program.

For more than 33 years, Priscilla Weaver has been teaching youth about animal science through the 4-H club program.

This time of the year you can find her at the North Florida Fairgrounds in the livestock buildings. As the North Florida Fair’s Livestock Director she’ll be busy putting on a great livestock show and competition for youth and adults. Priscilla Weaver is passionate about growing the 4-H animal science program. For more than two generations (33 years) Priscilla has been teaching youth about animal sciences and animal husbandry as the Kapra Kids Dairy Goat 4-H Club Leader in Wakulla County, Florida.

Priscilla started the club when she saw a need for her children and their friends to have an opportunity to participate in 4-H. “Youth need things like 4-H in their lives to grow up well,” says Priscilla. When asked why she thinks youth need 4-H Priscilla replied, “4-H teaches young people so many things, things like responsibility, caring and the ability to see a project through to its end.”

Priscilla has raised dairy goats her whole life, so when she started her club she worked with her club members in that project area. Her club has had as many as 16 members before and has won uncounted number of awards and ribbons showing their goats and their dairy by-products like cheese and soap at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, Florida

.  Priscilla feels strongly about teaching today’s youth about animal husbandry saying,

“It teaches them so many things; math and science, recordkeeping, planning and responsibility. Participating in a 4-H animal project also teaches caring and empathy by having responsibility for an animal,” says Priscilla.

Empathy and caring are two traits Priscilla has in abundance. When not volunteering for 4-H, she spends her free time working at the fair, caring for her own livestock, or volunteering with the senior group at her local church. These traits also display in the activities of Priscilla’s 4-H club as they participate in many community service projects and also in her leadership of multi-club service projects at places like the local senior center.

When asked what has kept her going as a 4-H volunteer for so many years Priscilla will tell you that it’s because, “she loves working with the youth.” Because of volunteers like Pricilla, 4-H is able to help youth grow resilience, empathy, and responsibility through animal science programs.  These are life skills that will help youth be successful no matter what career path they choose.  If you want help empower young people to be the best they can be by sharing your passions in a meaningful way Like Priscilla has, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer. The Florida 4-H Program offers a wide variety of volunteer roles to fit your schedule, interests and skills.  Contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office or visit http://florida 4h.org/volunteer for more information on how to volunteer today.

PG

Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/11/13/4-h-club-leader-grows-resilience-and-empathy/