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Parker leading local youth development through 4H - Independent-Messenger: News

Parker leading local youth development through 4H

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Posted: Monday, January 1, 2018 11:29 am

When Greensville Emporia 4H Youth Development leader Drexel Pierce accepted a position with the Sussex County School Division in the summer, it created a vacancy that needed to be filled.

For Emporia-Greensville native Hannah Parker, it created an opportunity she could not overlook. Parker applied for and was hired for the position in the fall. It was a perfect fit.

Parker graduated from Brunswick Academy in 2013. Fast forward four years to May of this year and she earned a dual bachelor of science in animal poultry sciences and human nutrition. Parker introduced herself to the community on Nov. 6 at the Extension Office during a welcoming event and has made the transition a successful endeavor.

Why 4H?

“I grew up on my grandparents farm,” Parker said. “They had chickens and I helped out with that. It sparked an interest in animals. That’s one reason I studied animal and poultry sciences at Virginia Tech.”

The youth program 4H is designed for the enrichment of youth ages 5-19 with communications skills, public speaking and helping them become active members of the community.

Parker recently hosted a holiday day camp for 25 children. The youth learned how to bake cookies and made holiday crafts. Seven members of the 4H Teen Club helped as volunteers as well as two adults.

The Teen Club, ages 14-19 are heavily involved as volunteers for younger 4H groups. The 4H program also sports a Livestock Club and Shooting and Education Club.

The Livestock Club was busy last week Christmas Caroling at the Bloom Center. It was the Livestock Club that Parker participated in as a 4H youth.

Another 4H group is the Shooting Club. Members ages 9-19 learn firearms skills with air rifles and air pistols. Parker said she would like to see archery eventually become part of the club.

One group Greensville Emporia 4H is hoping to add soon is a gardening club. It would be a combined effort from 4H Youth Development and Sara Rutherford’s Agriculture and Natural Resources branch of the local extension office.

Sending youth to Junior 4H Summer Camp in Airfield is still a top priority for Parker. She did not attend the camp when she was growing up in Emporia-Greensville, but after attending the camp as a volunteer while she was serving as an intern at the extension office in Dinwiddie she attended the camp and was surprised at not only how much the campers learned, but how much she learned.

“I realized I really missed out when I was growing up,” she said.

Parker is now learning all the intangibles associated with the 4H Youth Development as head of the local program. That she is working in the community where she grew up makes it a little better.

“I’m excited to be back here to be able to have an opportunity to work with the youth here and hopefully inspire them to find their passions just like I did,” Parker said.

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