Virginia 4-H Blog
Welcome to the Virginia 4-H Blog! Here you will find stories from our 4-H community about our amazing people and programs. Check back every Wednesday for a new post!
Jeremy Johnson's 4-H Story
December 6, 2017
Written by: Jeremy Johnson, State 4-H Program Leader
Welcome to the new Virginia 4-H blog! As the State 4-H Program Leader, I will be writing a post on the first Wednesday of every month. Today, I'd like to start by telling my own 4-H story.
When I reflect on my 4-H story, I am overcome with a great sense of gratitude. I am grateful for the connections, challenges, and opportunities I have experienced through my 4-H journey. My 4-H story began as a junior camper at Airfield 4-H Center. A friend from Cub Scouts invited me to 4-H Camp when I was nine years old, and it marked the beginning of my journey that has continued for over 25 years. My 4-H Camp experience provided me with the opportunity to become more independent, responsible, and to connect with so many diverse youth and adults. It was at 4-H Camp, through the support and challenge of my 4-H agents and program director, that I began to understand the power of the positive influence of adult leaders. I was challenged to set goals and encouraged stretch beyond my comfort zone to develop my own leadership skills. It was these connections that helped to support me to become a first generation high school graduate and to go on to be a successful Hokie at Virginia Tech. As a young 4-H agent in James City County, it was the wisdom, guidance, and support of my mentoring 4-H agents, district director, and volunteer leaders that created the drive to support transformational programming for 4-H youth.
I am also grateful for the personal connection and relationships that have brought me to where I am today. I'm grateful that 4-H Camp connected me with a wonderful, caring, and supportive young woman whom would eventually become my wife. We have built our marriage and family on the values we learned through our 4-H Camp experiences. The 4-H story continues with our own family, as both our children are active members of 4-H Camps and the 4-H Cooking Kings Club. In fact, I'm very proud to say that my daughter has just been elected as secretary of her Junior 4-H'er club during her first year. I've told her that I didn't hold my first officer role in a 4-H club until I was a junior in high school, when I served as vice president along with my daughter's now-aunt. Love for the 4-H program runs deep in my immediate and extended family.
4-H has helped me to develop the grit and determination that has shaped both my personal life and professional career. I look forward to cultivating an environment that challenges and supports 4-H professionals, volunteers, and members to "Make the Best Better." I'm Jeremy Johnson, and I'm grateful to be your State 4-H Program Leader for Virginia 4-H.
Don't forget to check back every Wednesday for new 4-H stories and the first Wednesday of every month for more of my posts!