National 4-H Week is from Oct. 7 through the 13th. To celebrate the week members of the Jim Wells County 4-H are telling their 4-H stories.

Trevor Martinez

JWC 4-H Council President

What is 4-H to you? To some it's a roller coaster, to others it's a once in a lifetime experience. To me, 4-H is like the missing string in my life. I started off not knowing what it meant to be a 4-H, but over time I understand now what it means to be a 4-H’er. Last summer, I suffered a loss that changed my life. Despite the setbacks that I have faced, I have fought through it, maintained my responsibilities as president of my club and county. However the biggest part of my life is helping others. Whether they need supplies, support, or just personally, I want to help. I promised to myself that I will help others as much as possible because I had so much support during my incident. Without it, I wouldn't have made it through to the other side. Even though it was tough, I look at it as my mountain that I conquered. My message to you is to help others climb their mountains and don't let anything stop you from climbing you're own. And so I ask you this, what does 4-H mean to you?

Emily Kalinec

JWC 4-H Council First Vice President

My 4-H journey began 10 years ago, when I attended my first ever 4-h meeting at just 5-years-old. Right then and there, I started my 4-H career and I haven’t looked back since. 4-H has shaped me into the young lady that I am today, and I am so thankful that my mom found this program. This amazing organization has taught me many things like archery, outdoor challenge and food show, but the number one thing that I learned was leadership skills and public speaking. Without these valuable qualities, I would not be where I am today. I learned leadership through serving as an officer at both club and county level. I also learned leadership from being a Healthy South Texas Youth Ambassador, which was an amazing experience serving my community. I also learned about public speaking through various contests like food show and consumer decision making. All in all, 4-H has had the biggest impact on my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Austin Chapa

JWC 4-H Council Second Vice President 

4-H, where do I begin. When I first started 4-H seven years ago, I never knew that it was going to affect my life the way it has already. When I started 4-H in the Premont Cactus 4-H club, I was the kid that would just go to the meetings to show in the fair. I would not say anything during the meetings because I was really shy and didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of others. Then years passed, and I was nominated for secretary, so I accepted the nomination and I had no idea what I was going to do. As the years passed I realized that I was secretary for around three years already. I was having thoughts that I would someday be the president, so from that point on I had set a goal to be president for our club. When we would have our elections I would run for president and even though I didn’t get it, I did make it for vice president this year. I did have to step up as president for a few meetings, and now that I have the experience I hope next year I can hold that title. I had also thought about being a county officer so I ran. I ended up running for office and I was elected second vice president for the county level. I am setting goals to be a district and state officer before I graduate.Like I said I was very shy and wasn’t comfortable talking in front of people, but look where I am today. I am now giving presentations to my club and also at workshops. Instead of the shy old me, I ask if I could give presentations because I feel way more comfortable. Many people may say that I might talk a lot but I am just glad that I am teaching others, and I hope those people are public speaking in the future. I spend numerous hours a week preparing for competitions and presentations. I can’t do all this alone, that’s where the 4-H families come in. Our County Extension Agent, Barbie is one of the most supportive people out there, without her I wouldn’t be where I am today. In closing, 4-H is a life changer and I wish everyone would be in it. It teaches me so many life skills through showing and the competitions. Who would of known that seven years ago I was starting “To Making the Best Better.”

Kinleigh Carr

JWC 4-H Council Secretary

What were you born into? I was born into 4-H because my parents and older sister were at a 4-H event the day before I was born then I went to my first 4-H activity at six days old. I grew up watching my older sister in 4-H activities and competitions. I have been crawling under horses and rabbit pens from a year old.

I joined Clover Kids 4-H in Kindergarten and now I’m starting my third year in 4-H. Through 4-H I have learned to speak better to people, community service, and leadership to help others. I love learning through food challenge, food show, sewing for the clothing and textiles project, speaking through educational presentation, showing animals, and archery to name a few activities. I can’t imagine my life without 4-H because it has made such a positive and big impact in my life.

Adam Tijerina JWC 4-H Council Treasurer   Who would have known that I would love traveling so much? I have been in 4-H for six years, one year as a clover kid and have traveled on numerous 4-H trips for competitions. From Ag Product and Food Challenge in Dallas and Houston to Consumer Decision Making and Livestock Judging in San Antonio.  This past summer I had the opportunity to participate in the State Roundup in College Station.  On this 4-H Trip, I traveled with my 4-H friends and our awesome Extension Agent Barbie Wymore. On the way over there we talked a lot, shared funny experiences, memories, and we also made new memories along the way.   While in College Station I made new friends and had a great 4-H experience.  If you know Barbie she carries a sprayer in her vehicle, so if you fall asleep you are bond to get sprayed. For example, this last trip to Dallas, I barely even closed my eyes for a few minutes, and tried to get away with it, but of course I got a good wake up call. So, she always tells us not to be tired. If it wasn’t for 4-H I would not be able to share the wonderful memories that I have made along the way with my 4-H Family.  4-H has taught me many life skills for the future in responsibility, Leadership, public speaking, decision making, healthy living, robotics, archery, cooking, product identification and service to our community and many more other opportunities. Wow, and I still have many more things to learn until I graduate in five years and many more places to travel along the way. To learn more about 4-H, call Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Jim Wells County at 361-668-5705.