GREENVILLE — Molly Hunt, of Greenville, is a National 4-H Council’s 4-H Youth in Action Awards Program finalist.
4-H Youth in Action Awards Program is an opportunity for youth to share their stories of how 4-H has changed their lives and how they have, in turn, impacted others, according to 4-H. These awards highlight youth in each of four pillars: Agriculture, Citizenship, Healthy Living and STEM. Hunt applied in October, and out of 106 applicants from across the nation, Hunt was one of three finalists chosen within the Healthy Living pillar.
Hunt said her finalist award was for Clover Confidence Building Fearless Females (BFF), an event Hunt organized last year, when she was Junior Fair Queen. She said 31 young ladies attended the workshop, where they worked on self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence in building safe relationships with families and others.
“Girls aren’t always getting these positive messages in schools,” she said. “Because of this program, those ladies were able to receive those messages.”
The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development Theresa Ferrari, Ph.D., encouraged Hunt to apply. She also wrote her a letter of recommendation. Hunt attributes that support to earning her win as finalist. Ferrari said she encouraged Hunt to apply because of the work Hunt has done over the past couple of years.
“Molly is a very dedicated person, and has taken the mission of 4-H Healthy Living to heart,” Ferrari said. “She has lived it, particularly with health, and has taken the messages she is working to heart, and helped herself and others in the process. She has taken so much initiative on her own, with the Clover Confidence BFF and We Are the Majority. She has done things at the state level, but has taken them back to Darke County, which is our goal-to get things across the state.
“Molly is definitely a role model for other teens in 4-H,” Ferrari added. “She recognizes the leadership qualities in the younger kids and nurtures them, which is cool to see. She will do anything I ask, and she gets it done early. She attributes 4-H to being an important aspect of her life, and that is what we like to hear, because it helps us to know that we are doing the right things.”
Hunt’s passion for 4-H continues along side her studies at The Ohio State University, where she is in her second semester of her freshman year, majoring in Geological Science with a minor in Political Science. She serves on two state boards: Ohio 4-H Health Hero and Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council; is a member of the Collegiate 4-H Club at OSU; and a facilitator for the upcoming National Healthy Living Summit, in Washington, D.C., in February. How does she fit it all in?
“In high school, I was involved with a lot of extracurricular,” she said. “I was able to organize myself and make everything work. 4-H has been my passion for a very long time, and the thought of not having the ability to do what I do is disheartening.”
Hunt said she has also enjoyed the opportunity to meet people from the National 4-H Council. She has attended two national conferences representing the state, and has also traveled throughout Ohio, educating approximately 1,000 4-Hers on healthy living topics, such as mental health. She also has taken the “Smoothie Bike” across the state, and hosted a state event talking about the Opioid Crisis, including hosting a booth at the Great Darke County Fair.
Hunt described 4-H as having saved her.
“Growing up, I really struggled with insecurities and self worth in general, and 4-H is where I found that,” she said. “I also found a group of friends who have constantly supported me to achieve everything I have. In addition, I have had an opportunity to meet educators and state 4-H specialists, a testament that 4-h is not just an organization, it is people, who are constantly supporting each other and ‘to make the best better’. It has been very unique and special to me to work with and or teach the girls across the state. I have the ability to influence, impact and inspire other 4-Hers, just like I was as a kid. Having that in the back of my head is why I keep doing that. I have to help build the pathway for future members. It is the people in that make 4-H so great, and those people have pushed me and made it my passion.”
The next Clover Confidence BFF event is scheduled for February 9. Registration is open and is accessible at https://darke.osu.edu/program-areas/4-h-youth-development/2018-clover-confidence-building-fearless-females-bffs
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