Letters to the Editor

4-H demise would shatter dreams

I am a 13-year-old girl writing on behalf of my 4-H horse club, Freedom Reins, and everyone in Washington state 4-H. We recently have been notified that due to budget “problems,” Washington State University may be closing down 4-H in the state.

That would mean no more horse shows, county fair, state fair, nationals in Kentucky, public presentations, record books, judging, posters, no more anything.

4-H is not just about competing, it’s about education, raising a kid’s self-esteem, teaching them responsibility, leadership skills and helping prepare them for their future.

I have a lot of friends. Before 4-H, I didn’t have any. I was able to take a presentation that I could barely do in front of my club and take it all the way to the state fair and win a blue ribbon. I then was able to do it in front of a group of kids who were learning how to do public speaking.

I have learned organizational skills by having to keep a detailed journal of what I do with my horse each year. I have learned skills that have made me become a better and safer rider.

In 4-H, we even competed at nationals in Kentucky. I got to fulfill a dream of going to Churchill Downs. I decided that I wanted to become a veterinarian after visitingthe Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. All of that because of 4-H. Dreams were fulfilled because of 4-H.

Does that tell you anything? Because it tells me a lot of things. One is that if 4-H were to quit being around, those sorts of dreams would stop being fulfilled for 75,000 kids. And I don’t think you want that to happen.

– Alexis Torp

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