Florida 4-H Alumni Spotlight: Jared Padgett
OCCUPATION: Inflight Operations-HDQ for Southwest Airlines
COUNTY OF 4-H PARTICIPATION: Sarasota
YEARS SPENT IN 4-H: 10
What projects & activities did you do as a 4-H’er? At one point or another, I participated in most 4-H projects and activities. From Agriculture to Public Speaking and Marine Biology to Leadership, I tried to become well rounded in all that 4-H had to offer.
What experiences did you have in 4-H you wouldn’t have otherwise had? Many! During my time in 4-H I had the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally, was given a tour of the White House, hosted a television show and had the opportunity to watch younger 4-H members that I mentored grow up.
Who was one of the most influential people in your 4-H career, and why? My 4-H Agent Marcia Morris. She was a 4-H agent during all 10 of my years in 4-H. She always supported me and my multiple projects and leadership roles. When it came time to apply for scholarships and colleges she supported me through that as well. We’re still in touch today!
How has 4-H changed your life? 4-H gave me the strength of confidence. From being 8 years old and raising my first steer (I was so small I couldn’t even see over him) to presiding over State Events in front of thousands (during my final year) as Florida 4-H President, 4-H built confidence in me both physically and mentally.
What would you tell a parent or guardian about why their child should join 4-H? There are many youth programs out there to involve your child in. I definitely recommend 4-H for developing a well rounded child. It is okay to participate in more then one youth program. I was also involved in Marching Band, Baseball and Taekwondo at one point or another while still being in 4-H!
What advice would you like to share with graduating 4-H’ers? Don’t loose touch with your 4-H connections and and give back when and if you can. The connections you make in 4-H can one day help you get into college or even land a dream job. Giving back can mean volunteering or donating to your local or state 4-H Foundation.
Are you a 4-H alumnus or friend of the program as a volunteer, community advocate or a supportive parent or guardian? Subscribe to the Florida 4-H Alumni + Friends Community for news and updates. You can connect with 4-H locally through your Extension County Office, or contact Caylin Hilton at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352.392.5432.
4-H is the youth development program of the land-grant university and Cooperative Extension system. The program provides hands-on educational programs and experiences for youth ages 5-18 with the objective of developing young people as individuals and responsible citizens. 4-H empowers youth to be leaders in their communities today, and for the future. In Florida, 4-H is administered by UF/IFAS Extension and Florida A&M University.