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October 05
 What 4-H Means to Me: Cynthia Cole

​In the spirit of National 4-H week, we have asked some GreenStone team members to share their experience in 4-H, either as a member, a parent or a volunteer. As you will read in their stories this week, it is evident 4-H has a positive impact on many people in many different ways!

Cynthia Cole.jpg

Having been a 4-H member as a youth, I personally experienced the lifelong values it can offer. The one thing that I value the most from my years of 4-H, is the relationships I developed with other youth, and the difference adults can make in your life. To this day, I think of those lifelong relationships as my 4-H family.  I was able to meet people from all across my county, and I gained respect of other adults.

Through my 4-H experience, I learned to be competitive and strive to be better. Winning is not always the answer, however the way you win or lose makes a difference. As a 4-H youth, your project is your experience and from that project you are motivated to be productive and increase your skills.

I was a broken child when I lost my mother at the age of 10 and my 12 year-old brother two months later.  It was my 4-H family that stepped in and showed me love, compassion, self-worth, and how to make the best out of life. I am sure several of the 4-H'ers that reached out didn’t even know me or the challenges I was dealing with.  

4-H taught me, as I teach today, to make the experience fun while learning, and from that learning you will increase your ability to become a better person. As an adult leader I have a motto: Be a volunteer, set an example, respect others because you never know what little set of eyes are watching you, and the life-long impact you will make in a youth’s life.

Cynthia is a past member and current volunteer with the Ionia County 4-H. She is a senior financial services officer at the GreenStone Ionia branch.

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