Two members of 4-H clubs in Henry County were recently appointed to the Ohio Teen Leadership Council (TLC) for the upcoming year.
Jordan Bok of Holgate and Adrianna Meyer of Swanton started their one-year terms Sept. 1 on the council, and they are two of 47 teens who are representing 33 Ohio counties. According to the OSU Extension’s 4-H program, the council is a group of 4-H teens and young 4-H alumni who can give youth stakeholder perspective in the planning, implementation and evaluation of Ohio 4-H programming. In turn, members can develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and aspirations that can help them in their future.
This is Bok’s second year on the state TLC. The 17-year-old is a senior at Holgate High School and she has been in 4-H for nine years with the Holgate Hustlers club. Bok said both of her parents were involved in 4-H, and her brother had also been participating for several years.
Throughout the years, Bok said she has done a variety of projects, including fashion and sewing, nutrition and cooking, as well as different animal projects.
“I’ve met most of my close friends through 4-H, through our county Junior Leadership Club and even state-level 4-H,” she said. “I’ve met a lot people and made a lot of connections and learned a lot of different things.”
Bok added she is taking a home economics class this year through school and has realized how much 4-H has already taught her where some of her classmates are unfamiliar with those tasks.
On the leadership council last year, Bok served as a council member, meaning her responsibility was to attend four in-person meetings in Columbus.
“I was there to give general ideas,” she said, adding she did serve on an ad hoc committee. “I helped teach a session at the 4-H conference and then, throughout the year, you have to work so many events ... and I worked all of my events at the state fair and helped with project judgings and things like that.”
Bok said working at the state fair was the highlight of her experience serving on the council last year.
“Because I was only a council member, I didn’t interact with other members of the council as other people would have because I didn’t have a specific (committee),” she said, but adding they stayed in dorms during the fair. “I got to spend a whole week with some of them ... so I got a lot closer with the people on the council.”
Bok will be serving on the Fundraising Committee this year and they’ve already started to look at ways to raise funds for the state council and 4-H, including possibly a fast food fundraiser, 5K and selling holiday items.
In addition to the four meetings open to everyone on the council, Bok will attend two additional half-day meetings as part of the committee.
Meyer, who is 14 years old and a freshman at Liberty Center High School, has been in 4-H for seven years, with one year as a Cloverbud. She said she was encouraged to join by her mother.
“I can remember her telling me, ‘You should try 4-H, I did it when I was little, so you should give it a try,’” Meyer said.
She started with Cloverbuds and then moved into 4-H the next year with the Northeastern 4-H Neighbors Club. While she initially wanted her first project to be a pig, she said her mother encouraged her to start with goats, since they already had them.
“I started out with goats, then I picked up genealogy my third year,” Meyer said. Two years ago, she added veterinary sciences to her projects. “This year, I want to maybe try the public speaking one.”
Meyer said her favorite part of participating in 4-H is meeting new people and forming friendships.
“Also, the life-long skills that you gain from it because you gain so many different ones,” she said. “Leadership is one, public speaking, too.
“It’s made me better at it,” she continued. “I still get nervous but I will gladly get up and speak now in front of a crowd.”
Meyer said she used to be very shy, but belonging to 4-H has helped her to connect and form relationships.
“I would never talk to new people, Mom would have to go up to people to ask them a question for me,” she said, but added she attended a Carving New Ideas camp last November. “It’s a weekend leadership camp, and there I was forced to make new friends. I just started talking to people, and that really helped me.”
Meyer said she first learned about the TLC while at the camp as she met others who had served on it, and a couple of people encouraged her to apply.
“It was something that I was really interested in doing, and I know that would help with my leadership skills,” she said, adding she also hopes to continue to meet new people and make new friends. She will serve on the Advocacy Committee, which focuses on promoting 4-H and its efforts.
“We’re going to invite Ohio legislators to different 4-H events like the state fair and the conference,” she said.
Separate from the TLC, Bok will also be serving on the Ohio 4-H Fashion Board. The fashion projects are combined into three days at the state fair, and the fashion board members help throughout that time.
“They do decorations for the style review and they help organize the judging,” she added.
Bok is the daughter of Brian and Tanya Bok. Meyer is the daughter of Fred and Tammy Meyer.