Meet a local 4-Her: For Lily Shultz, 4-H is part of her life

My name is Lily Shultz and 4-H has always been a piece of my life! Some of my earliest memories are centered around 4-H events and projects. I began attending 4-H meetings with my older brother and sister long before I was an official member. I have helped at the county fairs as far back as I can remember, participated in many 4-H competitions and community service projects, and have experimented with numerous different 4-H projects. Art, food science, photography, gardening, knitting/crochet, sewing, space technology, reading, and woodworking to name a few. I have gained many new interests during my years in 4-H and have nurtured many preexisting passions along the way.

I was selected to be the 2017 Osage County 4-H Queen, I received a national youth leadership award, The I Dare You Award, and have served in various official positions within my club and on the Osage County 4-H Council. I am also excited to share that this past 4-H year I won the 4-H Kansas State Performing Arts Award. 4-H provided me with all of these opportunities and I cannot allow my final year as a member in this program to end without giving credit to the parties responsible for making my 4-H career such a successful and pleasant experience.

First I would like to thank anyone that has sponsored or contributed to the sponsoring of a 4-H project award. Please know that I am not simply thanking you for sponsoring awards that I have won – my gratitude is for something so much bigger: Be it at the county fair level or beyond, you have shown your support and I am deeply grateful. It is your generosity and kindness that not only keep this program functioning, but makes participating in it worthwhile.

I want to thank my family, club leaders, 4-H Research and Extension agents (you know who you are!) fair judges, and all those that have invested their time in me, and have been willing to teach me new things and answer my (seemingly endless) questions with patience and love.

To all my younger, fellow 4-Her friends: I have loved learning with you, having the privilege of leading you and watching you all grow and develop your skills. Always remember that you are excellent, you are brilliant, and you are capable of changing the world! Kindness and determination will take you far. Never give up!

Finally, to all of you: 4-H does not create great leaders. 4-H does not forge incredible minds, nor does 4-H breed the next generation of great communicators, agricultural geniuses, engineers, artists, performers, designers or entrepreneurs. 4-H is only an avenue through which such talent and skills can be discovered, honed, encouraged and developed. I dare say that my entire 4-H experience would have been a waste were it not for one key element that is, I’m afraid, far too often overlooked: People. You. Volunteers. Human beings that were willing to contribute their time, energy and resources to providing me with a safe, healthy environment in which I could explore, learn, create and, yes, at times fail. For that is when we have the greatest opportunity to learn and thrive. Success would not and could not come to me or any other 4-Her that has been or ever will be, without the dedication and kindness of people like you who are willing to show your care and support. People are fallible and therefore not every 4-H experience I’ve had has been the perfect, inspiring and wonderful adventure that some might lead you to believe. But each experience has been an adventure – and an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, maybe lead, contribute in your community, And to gain a new perspective. It is the people behind a program, not the program itself, that teach these things – and for that I am forever grateful.

Because of you, I can with perfect confidence and without hesitation state that my 4-H experience has been one where the good far outweighs the bad (no contest), where my time has been spent on something worthwhile, and where I have truly been taught the skills to, as the 4-H motto says, “Make The Best Better!”

God bless you all during these uncertain times and may you continue to build each other up in hope of building up our world.

Sincerely,
Lily Shultz

Celebrating 4-H Week
Oct. 4-10, 2020


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