For the 77th consecutive year, millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will celebrate National 4-H Week from October 6 through 12. This year's theme, Inspire Kids to Do, is a campaign that will give kids more opportunities to do, empowering them with the skills they need to succeed in life and career.

Throughout National 4-H Week, Jim Wells County 4-H will showcase the many ways 4-H inspires kids to do through hands-on learning experiences as well as highlight the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.

4-H was founded on the belief that when kids are empowered to pursue their passions and chart their own course, their unique skills grow and take shape, helping them to become true leaders in their lives, careers and communities.

"I have been involved in the 4-H program since I was 9 years old as a 4-H’er in Willacy County and it became my passion. I turned that 4-H experience into my career to help other youth experience the life skills that 4-H taught me that I continue to use in my everyday life" said Barbie Wymore, Jim Wells County Extension Agent for 4-H.

This year as part of the Jim Wells County 4-H National 4-H Week celebration, we will be getting together with 4-H’ers from across the county and making "No Sew" Blankets for a local dialysis center. This day is called "One Day 4-H" because we work on a community service project as other 4-H’ers across the State of Texas are did on Saturday, Oct. 12.

4-H alumni around the country are always the first to acknowledge the significant positive impact that 4-H had on them as young people. In fact, research has shown that young people in 4-H are nearly four times as likely to contribute to their communities and are twice as likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs during after school time.

One of the 4-H alumni, JoAnna Chapa, summed up what 4-H did for her by saying "As a 4-H alumni, I can say that 4-H is extremely meaningful to me as it provided me with an abundance of joyful, unique, and educational experiences I otherwise would not have encountered without the program. I began my 4-H journey as a shy 8 year old girl from the Premont Cactus 4-H Club and thought I finished the journey as an accomplished and outgoing leader in the community. What I realize today is that this journey never ended; instead I continue to use the skills I learned in my personal and professional life. Whether it is from being able to distinguish the better buy from consumer education, having the ability to properly and confidently speak in front of social work colleagues from public speaking or navigating new unknown cities around the US from my exposure with the Traveling Clovers, these experiences have assisted my in discovering my strengths and personal values in life. These people became family members and will support you as you move on to the next stage in your life. Our 4-H family is strong, passionate, and continues to uphold the 4-H pledge and motto everyday. In retrospect, I owe so much to the 4-H program and Extension Agents like Barbie Wymore that provide an inclusive, nourishing, and comfortable environment, which allows youth to enhance their life skills, and develop socially, emotionally, and educationally. I will forever advocate for youth and adults to become involved with 4-H."

Chapa was a very active member of the Jim Wells County 4-H program and used her 4-H skills in her professional career as she worked with young people thru schools as a Social Worker.

In Jim Wells County more than 210 4-H youth and 66 volunteers from the community are involved in 4-H. Three main 4-H projects, outside of the animal projects here in the county are foods and nutrition, archery, and robotics.

About 4-H:

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Learn more about 4-H at , find us on Facebook under Jim Wells County 4-H, or to join contact the County Extension Office at 361-668-5705 ext. 7.