AZ 4-H Hall of Fame 2004 Inductees
I always say that I didn’t grow up in a 4-H club environment, The local school system did not offer me an opportunity to participate as a youth member, but once the opportunity to be a 4-H leader presented itself, I took it! Being a 4-H leader has added dimension to my life, helped me to form wonderful friendships, enhanced my teaching, riding and communication skills, and allowed me to engage in my passion for horses with others who share that love. What do I think is the best part of 4-H leadership? Without a doubt, the best part is the involvement with youth. Kids and horses are an unbeatable combination. Having the opportunity to work with youngsters learning about horses, horsemanship, veterinary science skills, horse safety, financial obligations, and the joys and sorrows of animal relationships changes your life. The friendships, skills, and memories formed in 4-H are more than just rewarding – they are priceless and last your whole life. I don’t know how long I will be continue to be a 4-H leader, but I do know that I have enjoyed the special times with the youth and parents. As I think back, each child has brought into my life a spark, joy, and an involvement in their life, if only briefly. Over the years, 4-H has enriched my life and I have never regretted the investment. Earlier I said I didn’t grow up in 4-H, but now I think that isn’t true. I have grown up in 4-H.
My main emphasis during my years as a 4-H Leader was to introduce young people (mostly girls) to the basics of cooking and sewing. In the process of teaching these homemaking skills, I strived to emulate integrity, flexibility, morality, leadership, and role modeling. Encouraging each youth to do the best they could was an on-going goal. Helping them to visualize the benefits of learning new skills each year was important for their self esteem, especially in sewing. Eventually, the club members and I developed our own foods (cooking) program. members worked side by side with the older ones, learning by example; teaching and helping each other without really knowing what was happening. My most significant personal growth in being a 4-H volunteer has been in the area of flexibility – to make changes and adapt the learning techniques to fit the members and their needs. 4-H is a wonderful vehicle for teaching basic homemaking (and other) skills to young people. As our world keeps changing, many of these skills may be lost along the way. Cooking and sewing are just as much an art form as painting and design. The offshoot of these two very basic projects can lead to a wide variety of interests and careers. Working with 4-H youth is a joy that has given me innumerable rewards.
When my daughter first joined 4-H, I didn’t expect that I would still be involved 22 years later, long after she became an alumnus. When it was first suggested to me that my daughter join 4-H, I was hesitant since we weren’t involved with ranching or raising any animals, which is what I thought 4-H was all about. I was soon convinced that there were plenty of other programs to take part in and my daughter became a member. As I became more involved with helping plan larger functions such as the county fair, food fundraisers at the county races, etc., and other 4-H Activities, I found that it was just as easy to continue year after year. You become familiar with what needs to happen, how things can be improved, and look forward to working with the same people and meeting new ones. The more I became involved in 4-H, the easier it was to dispel the myth that I had once believed – that 4-H was only for people with animals. I also found that sometimes you just need to ask people to become involved, and they will be more than happy to help out. I realized that as important as it is for people to volunteer, it’s also important to show appreciation for people who have given up their afternoon to sell nachos or help set up the fair exhibits.
My goal has always been not to just help in providing programs and activities for kids to participate in, but to let them see the importance of volunteerism which may encourage them to become volunteers as they become older. In a community as small as ours, it is very important that as many people as possible take time out of their busy schedules and invest that time back into the community. 4-H is a great opportunity to do just that, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my years of volunteering.
"My philosophy in the club was “We are a family”. Parents were always welcomed and encouraged to be involved with their child. All members were involved with community service projects, such as visits to the nursing homes, fundraising for the animal shelter and sharing their projects with other school children. Cactus Critters 4-H Club was well known in the community as a very active club. I enjoyed working with the many members throughout the years. It is very rewarding when they are grown with their own children and are now returning to 4-H to be leaders. Just when you think they have forgotten about you a card or letter arrives in the mail. My youngest child is now 23 years old but I still have a soft spot for the 4-H program. I will still be at the County Fair helping out where needed. I have met so many wonderful people through the 4-H Program. When I started as a leader in 1988, I never dreamed that I would be here for 15 plus years.
My grandchildren will becoming 4-H age before I know it so I guess I am not finished yet."
Judy Lent, Mohave County 2004
Mary Ellen Roberts
Mary Ellen Roberts started her 4-H experience as a member of the Catalina Clovers 4-H Club. She started her volunteer career when her son joined 4-H as a booster member. The club benefited from her experience through a number of project areas such as rabbits, cavies, poultry and vet science. She helped her group with a project with the Wildlife Rehabilitation program. She also did much work in the area of international hosting kids and chaperones. Mary Ellen was also a key volunteer for the 1997 Western Region 4-H Leaders Forum. Mary Ellen writes that the greatest reward is the smile on the kids faces after competing or a former member telling her how much being in 4-H has helped them in life. One of leaders in her club writes that “She gives so much and you can really tell that she does it because 4-H gives kids opportunities to experience new things and get better in projects as they get older. Another wrote that Mary Ellen’s “patience, encouragement and compassion for the kids and their projects go above and beyond the normal guidelines for a leader. Totally dedicated is a term used to describe Mary Ellen.
Linda Stead has been a longtime 4-H leader, since the 1950's. Even though Linda was not a 4-H member, she always was interested. She became involved when her kids were of the 4-H age. As a teacher she weaved 4-H into the curriculum and thus her classroom became a 4-H club. Later the interest grew and more time was needed. She asked parents to step in and the rest is history. She presently is the Community club leader for the Southwest 4-H Club. Linda says “There is joy to be seen in the successes of 4-H youth and sometimes in their struggles”. Linda has also been very involved on the county level and also in state activities. She was a key volunteer with the Western Region 4-H Leaders Forum. One of her nominees stated that “Her attention to detail has helped the effectiveness of the club members to excel in the feilds of compeating, communications and life skills.” One of her former club members said that “Mrs Stead was a great mentor for me and made a big difference in my life” Someone said; “If you want a job done–give it to Linda Stead-she is always willing to help”
Barbara grew up in Phoenix and was 4-H member of one year. When her children became old enough for 4-H she somehow found 4-H again, or rather it found her! Much of her recent work has been with the Arivaca 4-H club which boasts of the only 4-H Folkloric Dance Program in the county and possibly the state! She has selflessly helped to raise money to send kids on trips and has provided transportation for members to attend county events. Barbara is very involved in her community and has served on the Pima County Extension Board. One of her nominees said; “She knows and values the program for what it has to offer young people and she epitomizes the small town ethics to promote the positive in everyone” Another said; “As a younger 4-H leader I look to Barbara Stockwell as a role model and feel she is very deserving of recognition for her years of outstanding service to the organization and the young people whose lives it influences
Dora A. Teran
Dora A. Teran (deceased)
Dora was a true inspiration to those who knew her. She was an amazing influence to so many kids. She strived to be a role model for each child she met and was genuinely devoted to making a difference in their lives. She shared herself with each one giving them her love and support, challenging them to take control of their lives, and giving them hope and dreams for the future. Dora served as a Cochise County 4-H volunteer for 15 years. She was activley involved in the County 4-H Council, an advisor to the Teen Council, a project leader and served as part of the statewide J.O.L.T. staff. She coordinated the county fair buyer’s luncheon for numerous years and always brought her special touch to produce an exceptional luncheon. Dora was truly one-of-a-kind. It only took minutes within meeting her to realize just how special she was. Having been through over a decade of J.O.L.T with all 3 of her own children as well as the countless campers she treated as her own, Dora was a true Semi-Adult. Never too serious with her side-splitting sense of humor, a heart filled with love and a mind full of wisdom and life-experience, she had a knack for relating to youth. Year after year, she guided teens, eager to make them laugh and feel welcome. She did this with effortless grace and kindness. Youth and adults alike, she touched, and often changed the lives, of the many people she built relationships with. In 1996 Dora was selected as the Cochise County 4-H Outstanding Leader and in 2004 she was inducted into the State 4-H Hall of Fame. In November of 2007, she succumbed to a year-long battle with cancer. In true Dora fashion, with a passion for life and living it to the fullest, she fought until the very end.