By Ryan Channer ’19
To make the best better: That’s the slogan of 4-H, the global non-profit organization.
Midwood High School has a subsidiary branch of this organization called 4-H Club. In 4-H, members volunteer on weekends and occasionally on weekdays to do various forms of community service and participate in events.
The 4-H team is comprised of the president, Christina Ng ‘18, secretary Jack Jiang ‘18, vice-president Priya Sagar ‘19, and the advisor Ms. Elizabeth Fenamore. Ms. Jenessa Kornaker, who was an advisor for 4-H since its inception, will not be advising for 4-H this year.
“I wasn’t sure how much free time I would have to advise a club, considering the new position I’m in, so I talked to the co-advisor, Ms. Fennamore and decided that for this year, I’ll take a backseat,” said Ms. Kornaker. “I do intend to help out and chaperone for the public speaking event this year.”
The 4-H Club has weekly meetings every Thursday where the members are updated on upcoming events.
“A typical 4H meeting will begin with announcements of upcoming events: a soup kitchen we have planned for this break, for example,” said Sagar ‘19. “Afterwards, we’ll do ice breakers. One of my favorite ice breaker activities involves each person saying one word across the room to make a story. Later on in the year, we will start to focus on preparing for an event called Public Presentations, in which 4-H across the city create and present a three to five minute presentation of any topic of their interest at the New York Life Building. When holidays such as Halloween and Christmas come around, we’d usually have a small party for the club with food, games, and music.”
Members of 4-H interact on weekdays and weekends together. Not only amongst Midwood students, but amongst students from other schools.
“I stay in 4H because it is an amazing club”, said Ruby Tchou ‘19. “The people are wonderful. I was invited into the club by a friend and people told me how fun it was for them, so I decided to join it and earn some credits while having a good time. The club really is enjoyable and it has a very friendly atmosphere.”
Community service in 4-H can be many things. such as planting trees, restoring parks and the greenery of the city, working in a soup kitchen, or teaching middle or elementary children.
“4-H is a club designed to connect youth with nature, so there’s a lot of gardening, weeding, and planting involved, but there’s also special programs 4-H is affiliated with because it’s a part of Cornell University,” Christina Ng ‘19. “So there are opportunities to go visit the campus, internships like CHAT, urban environment, etc.”
The 4-H organization emphasizes creating leaders out of young people. One of the trips 4H takes is to do annual public presentations.
“As far as working together, everyone is really open to it and they’re willing to collaborate like at the public speaking event, because we get all these high schools together and we act like a really big family,” said Ms. Kornaker.
The advisor and past advisor for 4-H both expressed an appreciation for 4-H.
“I can definitely say the students in 4H are both extremely compassionate and passionate,” Ms. Kornaker said. “They’re movers and shakers. They want to do good in the world. Sometimes i’d have a bad day while teaching and then i’d go to 4H and just forget all about it because the kids are just so motivated to do good and give back to the community.”
Ms. Fennamore expressed similar views.
“What I like most about 4-H is working with a group of students that are dedicated to making their community a better place and also because they’re an exceptionally nice group of students,” Ms. Fennamore said.