Ashley Burke volunteered at the New York State fair, working with area 4 H members. 4-H represents a partnership between the Cornell University Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology and county Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations. 4-H helps youth ages 5-19 to develop and apply useful knowledge and skills, as well as positive attitudes about work, people and communications.

Ashley reflected on her experience:  “My responsibilities included leading a group of 4-Hers on the textile review program. The 4-Hers had sewn various garments and had made it to the state level to present their garments while at the fair. The days started off with either a skill related activity, i.e. modeling and walking on stage, or a sewing community service project, i.e. cool packs for military service men. Then they mannequin modeled and participated in fashion shows throughout the day. I was responsible for making sure the 4-Hers were dressed and on time for each activity, leading them in the fashion shows and teaching the community service projects. It was also important to assist them with their sewing skills and develop their confidence in front of a crowd.

 “This experience was extremely enriching as I was able to help out a program in which I am deeply invested. I was able to serve as a role model for the 4-Hers to show them that you can participate even after you are no longer age-eligible for the program. Additionally, I was able to use skills that I have learned throughout the years and pass them onto today’s youth. I find it very rewarding working with pre-adolescent children because the excitement level they have when they achieve something is heart-warming.”


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