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Keri Nelson: "Thanks to 4-H, I've been all over the country and world!"

Keri & Ann Curry

Meet Keri Nelson, a Minnesota 4-H alum from Grant County who works for the United States Antarctic Program. She is our March 2015 Minnesota 4-H Featured Alum!

During Keri’s nine years as a member of Grant County 4-H, she participated in a variety of local, state and national programs. She studied photography, conservation, and leadership, was a state ambassador between 1991 and 1992, attended the National Conference, was a Minnesota delegate to National 4-H Congress, and even participated in a 4-H exchange to Japan and South Korea.

In addition to working in both Maine and Wisconsin as a TV news reporter and Registered Nurse, Keri has served since 2007 in Antarctica at both the McMurdo Station (just south of New Zealand) and the South Pole. Her current roles including running the local store and U.S. Post Office. Keri’s work in the South Pole was highlighted in the movie Antarctica: a Year on Ice, which had its U.S. release in November 2014.

Geographic South Pole selfie
During a recent interview from her station in the South Pole, Keri reflected on the deep and lasting impact that 4-H had her life. “I think of all the opportunities 4-H gave this small town farm girl. I went all over the country and the world, and I just don't see how that would have happened otherwise for me. I was pushed to serve in leadership roles at a young age, and that gave me so much confidence. It showed me how much was possible.”
Snow plows are no joke at the South Pole!

Keri is passionate about working on the beautiful continent of Antarctica, where nations from all over the world are actively trying to cooperate and do something good for humanity. “I love working in a place where human knowledge and environmentalism are priorities, and I love the people this kind of work draws.”

When asked what advice she could offer current Minnesota 4-H’ers, Keri didn't hesitate. “Jump in! Take every opportunity you can, say YES! Live a life that everyone else wishes they could be living. Don't worry too much about what other people believe. That's their road, their path, their decision. Figure out what you believe, and then live your life that way.”

Did you know that you or somebody you know can be a Minnesota 4-H Featured Alum? Please contact us and share your story. We're excited to hear from you!

Erin Kelly-Collins
Alumni Coordinator
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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