AMR student attends 4-H conference

| April 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Claire Nakatsuka
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Hawaii-Manoa

HONOLULU — The Hawaii 4-H delegation participating in the 2010 National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., included a student from the Aliamanu Middle School and Teen Program 4-H Club.  

Meko Thompson, a junior at Radford High School, has been actively involved in gardening, cooking and community service in the AMR MST Program 4-H Club.

Members of Hawaii’s 4-H delegation gather for a keepsake photo. Pictured are (left to right) Meko Thompson, Aliamanu 4-H, Honolulu; Ty Nakamoto, Kauai Livestock 4-H; Hawaii U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka; Dr. Gary Heusel, Hawaii state 4-H leader; Denika Martin, Leprechauns 4-H, Honolulu; and Victoria Andrade-McKeehan, Hamakua 4-H Livestock, on the Big Island. (Courtesy Photo)

Thompson, along with Victoria Andrade-McKeehan, a seven-year member of the Hamakua Livestock Club on the Big Island; Ty Nakamoto, a four-year member of the Kauai Livestock Club; and Denika Martin, a first-year member from the 4-H Leprechauns Club, attended the D.C. conference.

The conference included about 300 youth from across the U.S. They engaged in conversations with private and public leaders responsible for the 4-H Club program. 

Thompson had been a 4-H’er in Virginia prior to his family’s transfer to Oahu. He now serves as president of the AMR MST Keystone Club, is secretary of his school’s Spanish Club and is a representative on the Army Pacific Teen Panel. 

Thompson is the son of Johnetta and Master Sgt. Patrick Piper, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, and his 4-H Club leader is Maria Tobin.

The four young people attended the annual conference accompanied by Gary Heusel, Hawaii state 4-H leader. The islands last participated in the conference in 1994. 

A 4-H alum, who participated in National 4-H Conference as a 4-H member, provided the financial support necessary to allow a Hawaii delegation to participate this year. Thompson’s conference expenses also were supported by the Hickam Officers’ Spouses’ Club and a Hawaii 4-H military club grant.  

The National 4-H conference convenes 4-H youth with youth development professionals and volunteers to share information on current trends and issues relevant to 4-H’ers. The conference also helps build effective partnerships and creates innovative 4-H programs.  

The National 4-H Conference brings together the resources of the 4-H program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Land-Grant University System, Cooperative Extension Service and other partners involved in building and sustaining effective programs for youth.

4H Logo

While the group was in Washington, they met with Sen. Daniel Akaka, Rep. Mazie Hirano and the staff of 

Sen. Dan Inouye. 

Some of the delegates, including the four from Hawaii, provided workshops designed to guide 4-H’s future direction. 

Hawaii’s delegation presented a 75-minute session on “Servant Leadership” twice during the conference. 

Servant Leadership begins with the desire to serve, and results in individuals accepting leadership roles based on the desire of those they have served. The group explained that Servant Leadership exists because of the universal recognition of the importance of serving others.

For the servant leader, serving others is what life should be about. 

(Editor’s Note: Nakatsuka is from Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa.)

Category: Community

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