Our Youth Program

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Posted by Deb on January 14, 19104 at 11:33:17:

Well I thought I should say thank-you for the confidence that has been bestowed towards me in suggesting I chair the youth program. My first responce when asked was "if it is to be a youth program it must be run by the youth". Meeting the needs of our young people is best done by working with them. This is my 14th year in the 4-h program and I have learned that if given the opportunity, support and guidence the youth can and will develope leadership skills and the character it takes to lead and motivate others . A good youth program is designed to give the youth the tools, information and means to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. In keeping with a program directed by the youth , I co-chair this position with two of our youth members. I will advise them in seeking goals and obtaining them , not obstucting the vision they have for the youth program. My role is to listen, see and understand the desires, to provide the infromation they need and seek to make proper decesions, and to guide them in the direction of how to accomplish the goals they lay forth for the benefit of the program.

My vision for the Dutch youth program is a program with strong membership and organazation supported by all its adult members. A program not only recognised by the club but all poultry organazations for its contribution to the fancy, youth and community. I would like to see our program recognised for providing the youth with tools and character building skills that are essential for becomming productive citizens in our society. A program not only recognising individual accomplishments but one that is recognised for helping the individual to accomplish a goal.

As a club we have often asked how can we recognise our youth? We can start by recognising that as youth they need the means and the tools to accomplish the goals they desire. As adult members and breeders yes, we provide our youth with quality fowl but we must also provide them with the education, insight, and possibly individual support to maintain those fowl. We must recognise the fowl are only the means of accomplishing goals, in providing them with the means to participate in the fancy we must also provide them with long term and ongoing support. In 2004 the youth program will submit to the club ideas and proposals based upon the needs of what the youth see as benefical to the program, supportive measures the club can impliment to help a youth accomplish the goals he/she desires. We will seek the support of the club to help us build a strong youth program, as indiviual adult club members we welcome your suggestions and we need your individual support.

As parents of our youth members we welcome your input and insight to your young member and the goals she/ he may have. As a parent, it is essential that a program that our youth participate in recognise the important role parents play. As parents you also provide the means and the tools for youth to be successful. Our goal is to be a program that provides your young family member with an avenue of participation that will not only reward him/her monitarily but will encourage him/her to seek excellence in all that he/she does. A proper and successful youth program must have the continued support of the parents, and the program must recognise the parents as a means of that support. We hope you will support us in the efforts we make to support your young person.

Last, but certainly not least, to our youth members, I hope I can help you be successful at obtaining the goals you seek for the club, and would feel priviledged if in that was able to help you accomplish personal goals. Raising and breeding successful fowl is not an easy task, then promoting your finished product in hopes of recognition for all your hard effort is sometimes even brave. Besides your fellow club members recognising your efforts, I think it is important that we recognise the effort that is made to have recognition. Your participation is far more of value than what you might realize or be recognised or accomodated for. Your presence and input is essential not only to the youth program but to the club and fancy. Not only will you develope all the character, that we adults hope you seek, but you will reconstruct the fancy and the showrooms of the future. I hope that given this opportunity and time that I have with you, that I instill the true meaning of "excellence". We loosely say the "American Standard" but yet it is tilted the "American Standard of Perfection" the "Standard of Excellence". I fear with so many things that have been diluted the version of excellence is not as clear as those that came before us. I am hoping through all that you do and provide for the youth through this program you can recharge the youth with the message of what it means again. Granted the Standard of Excellence is an old institution but it is filled with the youth. Take a look at what all our youth are doing across the country and in all our clubs, from the APA to the specific breed clubs. I hope that I can be a resource to you, pointing you in the right direction and providing you with any and as much information as I possibly can to achieve excellence, and then you get recognised for sure. In the meantime while we are all working on it, feel free to email or write me ( we still have the old institution of snail mail) toss out some ideas, talk to those exhbitors/fellow club members that are near you. Get your pens and pencils ready to pose to your chair members ideas and concerns. As you may have read from our President our new goal is communication, not a bad idea since we are spread all over the country with only some having access to the internet for quick communications. In keeping with that theme lets get our youth communicating.

In closing I would like to express that in the 14 years of working with kids in several capacities, as a fellow exhibitor to parent to 4-h parent/volunteer it is not unusual and a probablility if given the opportunity, that many of our youth will rise up to become remarkable and responcible individuals. One may not think that this hobby/fancy would entitle or even aid in such character development , but rest assured it does. It provides a foundation to build upon and if the progarm is productive it can be recognised as an instrumental marker to which colleges, to future employers see as a commitment concerning a responcible individual. Help our youth build such a program.

Debbie-lee Marie Porter
6651 South Ave. Don Fernando
Tucson AZ 85746

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