- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
After 29 years of volunteering 4-H in California, Paulette Sauln is still going strong! She has held many roles in 4-H: Community Club Leader, Project Leader, offices on County, Sectional and State Councils – and is currently the Director for the Western Region Leaders' Forum 2018, which is being hosted in her home county of San Diego.
Mentoring new and existing leaders
Paulette is one of San Diego County's Master Trainers. She conducts New Leader Orientation for about half of the county's new volunteers, and is always available to assist them in their leadership roles.
Paulette encourages youth to challenge themselves. She is the primary force to facilitate youth participation at the annual Western Region Leaders' Forum (WRLF). Through her continuous efforts and dedication, she helped 10 youth raise the funds to attend the forum in Alaska in 2016; she acted as their chaperone and ensured their successful engagement in the conference. Many of these youth are now serving in leadership roles on the planning team for WRLF 2018.
Helping youth find their voice and put their dreams into practice
Paulette has co-presented many sessions with youth partners. In her Musical Theater sessions at the State Leadership Conference, she always had a youth choreographer and stage manager. Together they chose the musical number and presented the sessions.
When her club had a family of young lads from the Fern Street Circus who wanted to share their skills through a Clown Project, Paulette did not hesitate to reach out to Butterscotch the Clown, an Orange County 4-H Leader, to borrow her curriculum so she could serve as the adult leader for the project—while at the same time learning from these junior and teen leaders.
Promoting 4-H to inner city youth
Over the years, Paulette has organized many one-day Youth Expos to bring 4-H to the attention of inner-city youth and adults. She chaired a Youth Expo in Balboa Park in 1998 and 1999 and another in 2013 in Encinitas in celebration of California 4-H's 100th birthday.
Paulette is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer. As a 4-H Military Program representative, she implemented a partnership with El Capitan FFA to have field trips to their farm for Military 4-H youth. For some of these young people it was the first time they had ever seen a cow, pig, goat sheep or chicken. They also got to experience a working greenhouse, plant crops and take home a vegetable seedling.
A role model
Paulette believes in treating people the way she would like to be treated and is well respected in the 4-H community as a leader to emulate. She still keeps in touch with former 4-H'ers who are not just from San Diego County, but also from around the nation. They look for opportunities to spend time with her and are available to her to provide clinics and trainings!
Through the years Paulette has positively impacted the lives of many 4-H'ers,
both leaders and members alike.
Salute to Excellence Awards
As a regional honoree, Paulette is also one of four nominees for the National 4-H Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award. The 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Local/County 4-H Roles:
- 1987 to 1988: Assistant Craft Leader, South Coast Clovers, San Juan Capistrano, CA
- 1992-1994: Cavy Project Leader, Avian Bowl Coach, Jamul Chaparros 4-H, Jamul CA
- 1995-2004: Community Club Leader, Lemon Valley Leprechauns 4-H Club, San Diego, CA
- Project leader: Pets and Small Animals, Leadership, Heritage Crafts, Avian Bowl, Clown, Public Speaking and Presentations.
- Vice President and President of San Diego County Council, and representative to the Sectional council. Was also County Representative to the 4-H National Conversation in 2002.
- 2005 to present: Middle Management Volunteer in the roles of County Trainer, Emerald Star Advisor, 2 terms as Council President, Lead Chaperone to the State Leaders' Forum, Small Animal Advisory Chairman/ Key Leader
State/ Regional Roles:
- 1995 to 2016: Conference Director for the Western Region Leaders' Forum 2018 to be held in California
- Various terms as South Section Representative to the State Council
- State Council Policy Secretary 2 years
- Record book judge for 4 years
- Member of County and state 4-H Futures Task Forces
- State Diversity Committee member and provide diversity training throughout Southern CA Section
- Presents Small Animal clinics and judges Small Animal Shows throughout the state
- Served as Medical support for State Leadership Conference for five years
- San Diego County Representative to South Section Council
- Volunteer of the year, San Diego County: 2003 and 2005
- Volunteer of Excellence, South Section: 2004 and 2007
Non-4-H Volunteer roles:
- Small Animal Chairman Eastern San Diego County Junior Fair 1993 to 2010
- Small Animal Advisor to San Diego and Orange County FFA program