When we think of a 4-H’er of the Year, we think of a youth who embodies both the impact and the passion our organizational mission drives. Our mission is to “make the best, better” and help youth become more independent, generous, masterful, and confident through both their project and community projects.
This year’s winner has served as an inspiration for our community and a glowing example of what 4-H can do for our youth. Garrett has only been a 4-H member since March of 2020 but has already built a 4-H career the equivalency of graduating seniors. It all started with a dairy goat donation from Farm Bureau and a local family on a rainy day. That day we promised Garrett to help him feel like he belonged and that his tomorrow’s were better than his yesterdays. You have all likely heard already about Garrett. He has won many awards, been recognized by our Board of County Commissioners, stepped up to lead changes in our fair, led summer camps, and traveled the state winning awards and volunteering at fairs all over Florida. He has spoken at County and District Events, served as officers in his clubs, mentored youth, and has been honored with State level winning photography. He has completed high quality record books and built a business made possible by the community supporting him. He embraces all the joy and challenges with “learning by doing” and we truly cannot say enough about this special member.
These accomplishments are what is possible when a youth feels like they belong and that they have the support to work for their dreams. When asked about his 4-H involvement, Garrett had this to say:
“Since joining 4-H I have really grown as an individual. I went from being shy and timid to a confident and forthright young man. 4-H has shown me that it is ok to open up and share your knowledge with others. But most of all I have new and lasting friendships. I really feel like I finally belong and that makes all the difference in the world to me. For the first time I fell like I am making an impact in other people’s lives and I want to continue doing so.”
Congratulations, Garrett! You have done more than enough to earn this year’s award.