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Anoka County 4-H volunteer Jeanne Verhoef receives the 4-H Adult Scholarship

I had the privilege of interviewing Jeanne Verhoef, a proud mother and faithful supporter of 4-H. She recently returned to school, and is the recipient of the 4-H Adult Scholarship from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. Here's a snapshot of our conversation.

Eunice Lin: How did you first get involved with 4-H?
Jeanne Verhoef: I grew up with older siblings that were involved in 4-H, so my beginning in 4-H was very young.  I can remember helping my older sister with horses at 4-H horse events, and then later becoming a 4-H member when I was in 3rd grade.  One of the great things about 4-H is that it can include the entire family for many events and meetings.

EL: How have you been able to stay connected to 4-H in your area?
JV: My children have been involved in Anoka County 4-H.  So I have been very active in special projects, attending meetings and events.

EL: What advice do you have for current 4-H'ers?
JV: There are so many opportunities in 4-H.  All of them are for you to try, and if you like it continue! If not, try something else in 4-H.

EL: Tell me about a favorite memory from your years in 4-H.
JV: When I was in high school, I travelled to Washington DC with 4-H.  It’s probably been about 30 years since that trip, and I still have great memories of team building, sightseeing, and the interview process to be selected for the trip.  More recently, though, my favorite memory is having build sessions in our garage for a solar electrical vehicle that our club built in 2010.

EL: What were your primary 4-H projects and how did you choose them?
JV: I loved to draw and my mom loved to sew.  So I remember many projects in the creative arts and sewing categories.

EL: Why did you decide to return to school?
JV: I worked many years in the medical field before having children.  When we decided to start a family, I decided to stay home.  When they started school, I returned to part time work.  The work I was finding was not exactly where I wanted to be.  To be best equipped to work in the medical field, I decided to return to school.  The medical field is continually changing, and continued learning is part of wanting to be a part of that field.

EL: Is there a connection between 4-H and your studies?
JV: The biggest connection I have from being a member to being an adult, is the appreciation for community that grew from being in 4-H.  It’s one thing that has not changed since my childhood, and from watching my children in 4-H, I can tell that it has stayed the same.  There are many community events in 4-H that develop a strong connection to where you live, and how to be involved.

EL: What are you passionate about?
JV: If you would skip my top 3 being faith, marriage and family, my next would be a tie between health (staying active, I love to ride horse) and volunteering.

EL: Why do you think Minnesota 4-H is great?
JV: I think 4-H is great because of its diversity. It is a reflection of the community where you live.

Congratulations to Jeanne as you pursues her education. We're so glad that the Minnesota 4-H Foundation gets to support her efforts!

by Eunice Lin
Minnesota 4-H Foundation
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