Editor’s note: “A Better Life” is a weekly column by the USU Extension – Tooele Office that focuses on a variety of topics intended to enhance quality of life.
Our local, state and national leaders of tomorrow are being formed today through the 4-H Youth Development program, which is locally run by Utah State University. Each year eight youth are chosen to be Utah 4-H ambassadors.
A 4-H State Ambassador is an authorized representative for the Utah 4-H program. Each one is a self-motivated, enthusiastic leader who promotes 4-H using the skills, knowledge and leadership abilities acquired in 4-H. They serve to strengthen the 4-H program through public relations.
Ambassadors are chosen through a scoring system based on several events the youth participate in during a two-day intensive, multi-faceted job interview. Events include illustrated talk, impromptu speech, interview, presenting an icebreaker game for youth, preparing a speech and a 3-month project that focuses on youth development, and public awareness.
All candidates must meet and/or exceed the score required to become a Utah State 4-H Ambassador. Becoming a state ambassador is an honor and a privilege that only a few achieve.
State 4-H Ambassadors are actively involved in 4-H. They help plan and coordinate many activities that teach youth skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and citizenship by helping plan workshops, training sessions, and regional and state events. The ambassadors try to create events that are fun, educational and build skills. They also take an active role volunteering in 4-H programs in their county.
Youth can gain skills to prepare for their future career through a 4-H Ambassador program. Applying to become an ambassador gives them an experience similar to the process of applying for a job and provides an opportunity to develop career skills that can lead to a career path. This can be developed by fulfilling the responsibilities to promote 4-H while working on different projects in the county and state.
The ambassador program has been around for 37 years. During that time Tooele has had seven ambassadors.
On April 13, statewide 4-H Ambassadors were chosen for the 2019-20 term. Tooele County is proud to have two ambassadors represent Utah, the first since 2011.
Autumn Zierenberg is a sophomore at Stansbury High School. She started 4-H at 8 years old. The things she has enjoyed most in 4-H have been cooking camps, archery, Ophir camp, state camps, public speaking contest, the healthy cuisine contest, the county fair, favorite foods contest and Super Saturday, and Teen Council where she serves as vice president. Zierenberg loves the ocean, bow hunting with her dad, anything outdoors, science, biology, and reading. She volunteers at the Loveland Planet Aquarium and wants to be a marine biologist.
Ashlee Greenhalgh is also a sophomore at Stansbury High. Ashlee started in 4-H as a Clover Bud at age 5. Some of her favorite things about 4-H have been Ophir camp, i4-H camp, cake decorating, sewing camps, and the stock show. She loves attending 4-H workshops on building trust, being more confident and effective communication. Greenhalgh is the current president of the 4-H Teen Council. She enjoys ballroom dance, riding horses, hiking and raising lambs and goats for the county fair. She would like to be a physical therapist one day.
4-H, the state’s oldest and largest youth development organization, is coordinated by the Utah State Extension. For more information regarding the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Robyn Handley at email@example.com or call the extension office at 277-2400.
Robyn Handley is a 4-H Volunteer/Teen Council Advisor at the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele. For more information about the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Handley at 435-277-2402 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.