2018-19 N.D. 4-H ambassadors selected
Eleven youth have been selected to join the North Dakota 4-H Ambassador program.
The new team members and the county where they are enrolled in 4-H are:
Raquel Bata, Cavalier County
Shannon Bryn, Barnes County
Haley Cowan, Williams County
Sabrina Dunlop, Rolette County
John Goettle, Morton County
Kathryn Hetletvedt, Stutsman County
Gretchen Ivers, Grand Forks County
Karly Just, LaMoure County
Skyler Manney, Cass County
Brianna Mohs, Cass County
Tucker Regner, Cavalier County
North Dakota winter weather tried to keep 16 youth from running to be the next North Dakota 4-H Ambassadors. The original November event was rescheduled to Jan. 27 because of bad weather. As another winter storm threatened the event that day, in-person interviews were scrapped. Instead, interviews were held on an online video conferencing system so everyone could participate from the comfort and safety of their home.
Ambassadors Eva Lahlum and Victoria Christensen planned the selections event.
“Planning selections three times was not the easiest task,” Christensen says. “However, I’m so proud that we have 11 new Ambassadors on our team. I think they all will be great, and I’m super grateful it all worked out in the end.”
Ambassador candidates were judged on an application, formal speech, formal interview and their answers to fun impromptu questions. Candidates must meet and/or exceed the score required to become a North Dakota 4-H Ambassador.
The North Dakota 4-H Ambassadors are young leaders from across the state who are actively involved in 4-H. Alicia Harstad, the North Dakota 4-H Ambassador adviser and a North Dakota State University Extension agent in Stutsman County, helps the Ambassadors as they plan and coordinate many activities that teach youth topics such as leadership, team work and citizenship.
“The 4-H Ambassadors specialize in planning and facilitating 4-H events, such as Extension Youth Conference, workshops, training sessions, and regional and state events,” Harstad says.
North Dakota 4-H Ambassadors also support local 4-H events by assisting NDSU Extension agents.
“I am so excited to be a part of the Ambassador team,” says Ivers after being selected. “I can’t wait for the next retreat.”
The weather delay was difficult for her.
“Waiting for selections was the hardest part for me,” Ivers says. “It is unfortunate that the event had to be canceled twice, but the safety of applicants and Ambassadors cannot be undervalued.
“I was personally really nervous for the interview, but as soon as it started, I realized that I just needed to relax and be confident in my personality,” she adds. “The biggest thing I learned is that if you’re thinking that the Ambie program might be the right way for you to be involved as an older 4-H’er, just give it a chance.”
Former 4-H’ers and Ambassadors helped with the judging process.
“I so enjoyed being part of the North Dakota 4-H Ambassador selection day,” says former Ambassador Lynette Hinckley of Bismarck, N.D. “This experience highlighted what wonderful youth we have in our state. A number of applicants did say that 4-H has built their confidence and self-esteem. Those who are selected as 4-H Ambassadors will grow into even stronger leaders within the Ambassador program and as citizens in our communities.”
Former Ambassador Teah Moncada of Lincoln, N.D., found that being a judge for the 2019 selections event was rewarding.
“I very much enjoyed judging this year,” she says. “Even though I didn’t get to meet the candidates in person due to weather, the backup plan was a great alternative. Being able to video chat with these great youth and get to know them through their interviews was enough to say this year’s new Ambassadors will do a wonderful job promoting 4-H in this state in the years to come. Congratulations to everyone who made it into the program.”
For more information about the 4-H Ambassador program, contact the Extension office in your county or visit the Center for 4-H Youth Development website (https://www.ndsu.edu/4h/programs_events/).