Tag Archive: Reflections

Reflections from Graduating Seniors: Kheica Jones

Kheica’s prepared public speech at county events her senior year

I will never forget the day Kheica and little sister walked into the Jefferson County Extension Office interested in doing a 4-H Demonstration at County Events. Two shy and very timorous little girls.  Perhaps they could organize their presentation, but the thought of presenting it in front of an audience- no way! They proved me wrong. They organized their demonstration and presented it at County and District Events.  Receiving both blue 1st place ribbons and blue quality rosettes. Since her demonstration at age ten, Khecia made a lasting impression in Jefferson County 4-H.  She embraced 4-H slogan “Learning by Doing” wholeheartedly as a member.

Khecia’s first 4-H team demonstration, as a junior

As a junior and intermediate 4-Her, Kheica was a member the Elite Sewing Club.  She also served as president of the Jefferson Elementary School Clubs (both 3rd & 4th grade years). She also participated in consumer choices judging contest and received the highest individual score at the North Florida Fair.

As a senior 4-Her, Kheica served as president and vice-president of the Jefferson County Teen Council. Last year, she participated in general public speaking at the county, district & state levels. This year Kheica will be doing a team demonstration at 4-H University entitled: Creamy Shrimp Linguine. She served on the 4-H NW Teen Retreat Planning Committee. This summer will also be her fourth year as a camp counselor at the day and overnight summer camps.

Khecia has helped plan several community service projects, including a roadside clean-up this spring.

Giving back to her community is paramount to Kheica. She has accumulated over 400 hours of community service hours from roadside cleanup, the 4-H Nature Trail Clean up, northwest Florida service project (Chemo Kits for Cancer Patients), nursing home visits, and landscaped the senior citizen center.

When I asked Kheica what life skills she learned that she attributes to 4-H, she shared: “I have learned life skills such as teamwork, dedication, and perseverance. I have also learned the important of community service.”  Kheica said her most memorable moment as a junior 4-Her was participating in 4-H Tropicana Public Speaking and doing her demonstrations at County & District Events.

Khecia Jones, an exemplary student, achieved top honors as Valedictorian of the 2017 graduating class. After graduation, she plans to attend FAMU on a full scholarship and major in Biomedical Sciences.

Our heart is content knowing that Jefferson County 4-H equipped this young woman with tools necessary to be successful post high school.  Jefferson County 4-H takes pleasure in wishing Khecia Jones much happiness and success in her future endeavors, and we invite her to join 4-H as a volunteer to help other youth benefit from 4-H the way she has!”

If you are interested in joining 4-H to learn leadership and communication skills, or if you would like to help teach youth in your community as a 4-H volunteer, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.



Author: jgl1 – jgl@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/06/08/reflections-from-graduating-seniors-kheica-jones/

Reflections from Graduating Seniors: Alex Davis

Alex Davis is a graduating senior from Leon County 4-H

Six years ago, Alex’s grandmother registered her to attend summer camp at Cherry Lake with Leon County 4-H and she hasn’t looked back since!

Alex has become one of the shining stars of the Leon County 4-H program. She has held positions of Parliamentarian, Secretary, and Vice President of the Leon County 4-H Leadership Council. She has served as a member of our Banquet Planning Committee and for the past four summers, Alex has volunteered her time as a counselor at Robotics, Sewing, Cooking, and Gardening camps. She is raised by her grandparents, Suzane Parke and Sidney Jenkins and is the oldest of three siblings.

Alex’s leadership and responsibility truly shine when she is leading and helping youth. One of her favorite 4-H experiences was assisting a group of robotics camp participants complete a challenge: “We were scrambling to finish our car. It was so great to see the look of accomplishment on the kids’ faces.”

Alex has helped teach a variety of 4-H programs during her six-year membership.

Alex is a wonderful representative of 4-H. Perhaps more importantly, she is a stellar student. When Alex first joined 4-H, she talked about her future enrollment in the IB program at Rickards High School. I remember this discussion vividly because I was extremely impressed with the maturity of a then-thirteen year old explaining how she would be reducing her participation in order to focus on school. Four years, hard work, late nights, and hard choices – many times causing her to choose between 4-H and homework – she has accomplished her goal.

Alex was accepted into the University of Florida where she will begin this summer. “I plan to study animal biology. And eventually Veterinary Medicine. Real STEMMY things. And I want to have an impact on people, but not work directly with them. So I figure helping their pets is pretty close.”

One of her favorite experiences has been learning about how food is produced. Alex will extend her learning at the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture this fall.

Curious, we asked Alex why she chose to keep coming back to 4-H. As a driven student, active member of Young Marines and other youth organizations, many things could have pulled her from the program. Alex said: “It was fun. I learned things I never knew…like how to sew a pillow! That will come in handy in college. And the adults…Ms. Stefanie was awesome. Ms. Heidi was great. And the other adults were always so helpful and nice.”

We will definitely miss Alex’s smiling face and bubbling personality around our office this summer, but we are so proud of our 2017 graduate! 


Author: Stefanie Prevatt – sduda1@ufl.edu


Stefanie Prevatt

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/25/reflections-from-graduating-seniors-alex-davis/

Reflections from Graduating Seniors: Jessica Wells

Jessica credits 4-H with helping her develop leadership and communication skills to help her transition into the workforce.

Super Woman has nothing on Washington County 4-H’er Jessica Wells.  During her 11 years as a 4-H member, she has logged over 500 4-H volunteer hours, started and led a horse project club,  facilitated agriculture judging at the county youth fair, led a highly successful community service project, served on 4-H Executive Board and the district teen retreat planning committee, been my right-hand woman at day camps, the county 4-H Tropicana public speaking contest and awards banquets…I could go on and on!

Through events such as 4-H University and executive board, 4-H involvement has broadened Jessica’s personal skill set.  She has learned about opportunities beyond the county level, stepped out of her comfort zone, looked inside herself to see where she needed to grow and developed teamwork skills that have benefitted her now and will continue to benefit her in the future.

Jessica also shared that “exploring career options has been one of the biggest benefits of my 4-H involvement.”

Jessica’s involvement in the 4-H horse program has led her to start a horse club in her community, so she can share her passion and expertise for the horse industry with other youth.  There had not been an active horse club in the county for several years, so Jessica was able to match her interest to serve a real need in the community.

With leadership development as the focus of her senior 4-H year, she says that 4-H University has been her favorite event that has allowed her to flex and grow her skills as a leader.  Jessica lives a heads, heart, hands and health life:  she has grown her personal skill set, she leads and serves with a giving and caring heart, her work ethic is tremendous and she has begun a club to serve an unmet need in the county.  Jessica has balanced her 4-H life while working at her grandfather’s blueberry farm, working with her horses (even rehabilitating a rescue horse), being an awesome big sister and daughter and serving at church. Jessica is the daughter of Rodney and Karen Wells and big sister to Sarah and Joshua.  She plans to attend Chipola College then transfer to either Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College or the University of Florida and major in agri-business.

Hear what Jessica has to say about what she has gained from her 4-H experience, and why she has remained in 4-H through her high school years:

UF/IFAS Extension Washington County congratulates Jessica on her high school graduation!  We look forward to seeing how you move and shake the world.  Love, Julie, Judy, Mark, Matt, Nikki & Cynthia


Author: Julie Pigott Dillard – juliepd@ufl.edu

Julie Pigott Dillard is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Washington County..

Julie Pigott Dillard

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/18/reflections-from-graduating-seniors-jessica-wells/

Reflections from Graduating 4-H Seniors

Trey is a graduating senior from the 4-H Buckaroos Horse Club

Trey is a graduating senior from the 4-H Buckaroos Horse Club

One of the most important milestones in one’s life is completing their high school education. Such is the case for Trey and Savannah, two bright young Jackson County 4-H members who are graduating this month. Both youth were asked to reflect upon their 4-H experience and share their thoughts in this week’s blog post.

Trey joined 4-H six years ago and has been a member of the Jackson County 4-H Buckaroos Horse Club for two years. Trey is a homeschool student. He has competed in the 4-H Horse Project at the local, State and Regional levels and has also participated in community service events for Sunland and the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch. He has competed in the District and State 4-H Horse Shows since 2014 and even qualified for the Regional Show last year. He will compete in the 2016 State Show in July.

Trey shares that he got involved in 4-H through a neighbor. When he joined, there wasn’t a horse club in Jackson County, so he participated in the Gadsden County 4-H Horse Club. He transferred his membership back to Jackson County when the 4-H Buckaroos horse club started a couple of years ago. When asked what he has learned through 4-H, Trey states:

“I have learned that 4-H is not just about horses and cattle. It’s about meeting new people and learning how to come together as a club and a family. Participating in 4-H has helped me to be more confident and has helped me overcome being shy and having trouble speaking in front of people. I definitely see myself coming back as a volunteer because I loved my 4-H experience and would like to see more kids have that same experience.”

Much of his positive experience in 4-H is a result of the relationships he has had with caring adult volunteers. “Mr. Terry Harris has helped me with everything that I can think of with my horse project. He and Mrs. Katricia Edenfield are not just 4-H volunteers to me, they are family and I love my 4-H family! I would like to add that I have had a great time in 4-H and it has helped me grow into the young man that I am today. I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to be in 4-H.”

Savannah is a graduating senior from the Jackson County Livestock Club.

Savannah is a graduating senior from the Jackson County Livestock Club.

Savannah is a member of the Jackson County 4-H Livestock club and joined 4-H two years ago. Savannah will graduate from Cottondale high school this month. Savannah has exhibited cattle, competed on 4-H livestock, poultry and meat judging teams, and has also been a member of the Jackson County 4-H Youth Council. She has attended 4-H University as a voting delegate and she also attended the inaugural 4-H Youth Teen Retreat held in February of this year.

Savannah got involved in 4-H after attended an Open House event in 2014. Although she has only been in 4-H two years, she says:

“4-H has taught me how to be a leader. I have been encouraged to believe in myself and to never give up. Being in 4-H has helped me to develop self-confidence and the ability to speak in front of people. I definitely want to come back to 4-H as a volunteer. 4-H is my second family. The volunteers in our 4-H Club have taught me to never give up and to always follow my dreams. They have helped me develop confidence in myself and the things that I can do. They have also taught me the value of teamwork and sportsmanship. When we win, we win together and when we lose, we lose together. 4-H helps kids to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. I am so very thankful for my 4-H club and leaders. I would not be where I am today without them.”

On behalf of the Northwest District 4-H Agents, we wish all of our graduating seniors the best. We thank you for your involvement in 4-H and invite you to join our 4-H Alumni Group. Later this month, we will share how graduating seniors can extend their 4-H experience through Collegiate 4-H.  As you can see, 4-H has lots of opportunities to fuel the extraordinary efforts of young people so that they are prepared to face a complex and changing world. We strive to help youth develop life skills to prepare them to be productive members of the community and workforce. If you would like to get involved as a member, volunteer, advocate or even donor, please contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.



Author: amgranger – amgranger@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/13/reflections-from-graduating-4-h-seniors/