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Collegiate 4-H Offers Service Opportunities
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- In the past, 4-H activities ended with high school, but a club at Mississippi State University encourages students to continue 4-H involvement throughout college.
MSU's collegiate 4-H club continues the fellowship and service students found in their local 4-H clubs.
Karen Martin, president of MSU's club, said most 4-H students want to continue their involvement with the organization after high school because of all they have gained from the experience.
"We see the need in keeping the 4-H friends we had in high school while continuing service through the club," Martin said. "Our goal for our group is to continue contributing to 4-H."
Dr. Rae Wilkinson, 4-H youth development curriculum specialist and advisor to MSU's club, said students do not want to see their experience with 4-H end with high school.
"When you have a positive experience with something, you tend to gravitate back to it," Wilkinson said. "Since most students gain so much from 4-H, they want to provide that experience to others."
The collegiate club assists the state 4-H organization in its various programs.
The collegiate club sponsored dances and served as group leaders at State 4-H Congress this summer. Members have coached modeling squad groups in Oktibbeha County and worked with MSU's School Days on the Farm. The group also takes part in national and regional conferences.
MSU student Trey Edwards is serving as president of the regional organization.
"These students have gone through wonderful training programs and developed excellent leadership skills so we don't want to lose them," Wilkinson said.
The collegiate group also provides opportunities for 4-H members to interact with each other socially.
"The group allows 4-H members to stay in touch with people they have met over the years at state congresses and other 4-H events," Wilkinson said.
The MSU club, which began in 1994, hopes to help the other state universities and community colleges begin 4-H collegiate chapters on their campuses.
"Since 4-H has helped us to become who we are and given us so much, the least we can do is give something back," Martin said.
For more information about the collegiate club, call the state 4-H office at (601) 325-1697.