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Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today

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Seminole County’s 4-H program breeds accomplished and community-minded young people

The 4-H Youth Development program encourages its members to “learn by doing” for a better life and a greater contribution to the world through the 4-Hs: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The program includes a variety of clubs and individual young people who are doing good in the community while building a strong foundation for their own lives.

Meet two such clubs and one impressive young man, all of which are serving Seminole County and the 4-H program with pride.

Robert Lommerse, 4-H Graduate

To become a leader in your community, there is no other place like 4-H, says Robert Lommerse, a recent graduate of Seminole High School and the 4-H program. Robert, who has been a member of 4-H for 10 years, is the eldest of four boys, all of whom are deeply involved with 4-H in different capacities.

“I grew up in the program; in many ways it helped guide me,” says Robert. “My family and friends are all involved with 4-H. It is our connection to the community at large.”

Robert began as a seedling in the Clover Kids Club and through hardwork and dedication, blossomed into one of eight 4-H officers for the state of Florida. In this position, Robert took on responsibilities like handling workshops and community events and assisting in the positive development of younger 4-H members. He has also participated in the national 4-H Congress in Atlanta, met important leaders and decision makers from Florida, and formed friendships with like-minded teens across the country. Robert now attends Florida Southern College and is studying agriculture.

“Without a doubt, Seminole County’s 4-H program has made me into the man I am today with a bright future and drive to give back to my community,” says Robert.

Knight Riders

The Knight Riders is a 4-H horse club that consists primarily of teenage girls who show horses at various competitions and also work with younger kids interested in learning about horses.

Through hands-on activities, members of the horse club show little learners what it takes to become a Knight Rider, while building their confidence around horses, explains Molly Ludecke, who has been a member of the club for more than five years.

“Because of 4-H, our club has lots of opportunities to learn about horses in a hands-on way,” says Molly. “We also get to challenge our leadership skills when working with the kids and when we have to present projects in front of everyone at 4-H. It has been really helpful to get comfortable talking with and in front of people.”

Teens in Action

The Teens in Action Club is a group of teenagers ages 13 to 18 who help facilitate educational and hands-on activities for the Clover Kids, a beginner 4-H club for participants ages 5 to 12. With the guidance of adult leaders, the teens meet at least once a month at Seminole County’s Extension Services office and help plan youth projects on topics such as horticulture, sewing, cooking, arts and crafts, and robotics.

“The Teens in Action Club helps kids develop important skills like leadership, community service, and public speaking,” says club leader Kristi Lommerse, who was involved with 4-H at an early age. “It’s a wonderful program that I would encourage all teens to participate in.”

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