- Author: Matthew Rodriguez
Recently I [Matt] had a chance to interview 4-H alumnus Sandi Fitzpatrick, who is also our University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener President for Placer County. The following are Sandi's responses to my questions.
[Matt] Describe your experience as a 4-H'er in regards to leadership development.
[Sandi] I value my 4-H experience as it provided me with leadership and communication skills that I still use today. Demonstration days provided communication experience in group settings and probably led me to be a member of my university speech team. Serving as 4-H Club President at a young age formed techniques that I use today as the President of the UC Master Gardeners of Placer County.
Impact of 4-H Volunteers on Sandi's Life
[Matt] What impact did the 4-H adult volunteers have on your life?
[Sandi] I credit much of my 4-H success (All Star and National Winner) to an adult volunteer who stepped into help when my mother had to return to night shift nursing following a divorce. Mrs. D. drove me to meetings, supported my project work, reviewed my record book, and enabled me to be involved in activities such as the 4-H Lamb Barbecue. Mrs. D was a guiding influence.
Picture from a newspaper highlighting Sandi as a 4-H youth member.
How 4-H Prepared Sandi for Leadership
[Matt] Describe one major life transition in your life and how the skills you learned in 4-H helped you make this transition.
[Sandi] I was given an opportunity in 2004 to become the Executive Director of the California Commission on Aging. I had to learn the ways of state government and legislature, advocacy, and managing diverse groups of older adults. I could learn these new endeavors because of the foundation my 4-H club work, junior leadership, and event planning provided to me. When I would stand to speak at a conference, I am always reminded that my first speech was at a 4-H Demonstration Day.
Advice for 4-H Members
[Matt] What advice do you have for our current 4-H'ers?
[Sandi] The 4-H program offers a range of education and life skills activities. I would encourage current 4-H'ers to seek out and participate in a variety of projects and events. These may form your secondary education or career choices as well as provide hobby and interest areas for life.
About the 4-H Program
To learn more about the 4-H program in Placer County, please check out our website./h2>/h2>/h2>/h2>/h2>/h2>