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"Leaders need to consider the ideas of others. in 4-H, I'm learning to be a good leader."

4-H is equipping Mela with
confidence and responsibility

Meet Mela, a Minnesota 4-H true leader.

Mela started her 4-H career in the rabbit project. Each year she raises a different breed, exploring how to best prepare them for show and judging during the county fair. It has required a great deal of commitment to be successful.

"I've raised Mini Rexes, Rexes, Dutch, and a Satin. I have to work hard with my rabbits. I see a lot of potential in them and want to bring that out."

Mela is a member of the West Albany Winners 4-H Club. She joined when she was eight years old because her mom thought she might enjoy it. Mela is one of about 30 youth in her club, including her 10-year-old sister Jane.

"There are a lot of young kids in our club. We take turns doing demonstrations to build our confidence in speaking and trying new things."

Mela showing her rabbit
2016 Wabasha County Fair
Mela's club recently had a special visit from Abby Mills, the 4-H program coordinator in Wabasha County. She observed a club meeting and then helped the youth think about how to make their meetings even better for current and new members.

"She suggested that we include an ice breaker at the beginning of each meeting. It helps all of us get to know each other better. I agreed to be in charge of our ice breakers. I'm really learning a lot."

Building important life skills begins the moment a young person joins 4-H. Whether it's through project learning or leadership roles, every 4-H'er has opportunities to grow based on their interests and with the support of caring adults.

"I'm learning to be a good leader in 4-H. You can't be selfish. Leaders need to consider the ideas of others and think about the best way to solve problems."

Mela with sister Jane
Mela is currently serving as vice president of her 4-H club. Being a club officer is showing her the importance of setting a good example for other youth. She's learning many ways to make a difference.

"I'm getting to know the younger kids so I can understand what they care about. Sometimes the youngest kids are rowdy, but I'm learning to give them responsibility. It helps."

Mela is a wonderful example of the 4-H Pledge, committing her whole self -head, heart, hands, and health- to making the best better in her community.

In addition to her cool little sister Jane, Mela's family includes two sets of parents who love and support her. In school, Mela enjoys biology, especially using microscopes. She's thinking about studying genetics in college.

Learn more about raising rabbits in 4-H.

University of Minnesota
Extension Center for Youth Development

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