Volunteers: college students

Volunteer Internships

College is an exciting time in life. You make new friends, explore careers, and learn new skills. Volunteering with 4-H can add to your college experience. If you are a University of Florida student, inquire with your career counselor if you are eligible for a paid internship. If you attend another University or College, Broward County 4-H can provide college credit for time volunteered and award volunteer hours. Plus, volunteer interns with Broward County 4-H learn how to teach young people of all ages and backgrounds, work with social media, design lesson plans, and interact with community leaders.

Reflections from Destiny Cardentey

This summer flew by as I interned at the UF/IFAS Broward County 4-H Youth Development Program. As a student at UF studying Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, learning is my main task. 4-H gave me the opportunity to use that knowledge to switch roles and teach youth.  Being surrounded with friends studying computer science or going to medical school made me worry that I had chosen a field that was not going to bring home a 6-digit salary. But working at 4-H, in my hometown, reminded me of

example of a volunteer intern

Destiny Cardentey volunteers to show youth insects during a lesson she taught

something I was taught by my humble parents, and something I told myself going into college. However, money is not what’s going to fulfill me and make me happy in the long run. As the wonderful Michelle Obama said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make. Its about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

It filled my heart to work at free lunch spots in the community I was raised in. I saw I was directly impacting the lives of children who come from low-income families. Like these youth, if it weren’t for groups like 4-H, I would not have known about the beautiful natural world around us. Finally, for that “aha moment” I had this summer, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Destiny’s work experience

My focus this summer was preparing and hosting a weeklong “Bug Camp,” for kids from ages 6-11. I took a course in Entomology last spring semester which sparked my interest in insects. Preparing lessons all about bugs was challenging at times but exciting. We even had the opportunity to practice most of our lessons with the 4-H Garden club in Lauderhill and the non-profit Korean Martial Arts Culture Education Foundation. Therefore, working with these kids helped prepare me for “Bug Camp” in so many ways.

Teaching youth requires patience, the ability to take on a new perspective, and finding ways to connect and engage with kids as a group and individually.  When the week of Bug Camp came, I was nervous. It was the culmination of my work here are 4-H, but I was also eager to put our ideas into practice. By the first day I had learned all eleven of the kids’ names. Also, we had to adjust our ways of teaching the group to fit our diverse group of kids. We didn’t skip a beat though and quickly changed gears when we needed to.

Working at the Broward County 4-H Youth Development Program this summer has furthered me as a professional and prepared me for the next chapter in my life as I go into my senior year of college. All the knowledge and experience I have gained has given me more confidence in myself. I am enthusiastic to use the hidden talents that everyone in the office brought to light.  In conclusion, by engaging youth this summer to reach their fullest potential, I also was inspired to reach mine.

Explore Broward County 4-H

Volunteer with Broward County 4-H to gain experience in the non-profit world. Depending on the time of year, we may need help organizing our Fair, teaching a day camp, or running a special program. Contact kricedavid@ufl.edu for more information.

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