Cassidy Jimenez/Courtesy photo
BY SAGE FAULKNER
I grew up in 4H and FFA and the life skills I learned there are some of the most valuable ones in my life to this day. I don’t know that I would have found my way out of a painfully shy existence if it weren’t for 4H and FFA, and every single time I speak in front of a group with ease, I am thankful. I also found my passion in cattle and an industry that feeds all of us. I now enjoy watching another generation of 4H and FFA youth find their passions and the young people that are in our area 4H and FFA programs are some pretty terrific kids. Along with club and county activities, a few 4H members serve in leadership roles on the State 4H team. One such student is Cassidy Jimenez and she is from our neck of the woods! She is a senior at Los Alamos High School, and is currently the New Mexico State 4H Reporter. Cassidy tells me the first time she attended 4H Day at the Roundhouse, and saw the leadership team wearing the iconic green corduroy jackets, she knew she wanted to wear one, too. The daughter of Del and Desiree Whitfield Jimenez, her twin sister Mariah is also in 4H.
Cassidy started 4H thanks to her parent’s encouragement and she stayed because “she found a family.” She says her favorite thing about the role as State Reporter is getting to connect with people across the state and feels she is gaining the ability to make a difference in the lives of many 4H members.
It is a lot of work, though. I asked Cassidy if she had had any challenges this year. She said that because it was her senior year, it had been hard to balance school, 4H, and free time. “I love the leadership role and the classes I am taking this year, but I have to recognize that I will burn out if I am not careful.” Pretty wise evaluations, and again, an opportunity for another generation to learn life skills that will stay a lifetime.
If you are or know of a youngster thinking about joining 4H, Cassidy says “Get involved!” She goes on to say, “When you engage in 4H you will learn things about yourself, gain skills that will help you through life (whether you know it or not), face your fears, try new things, and most importantly, find some of the greatest friends.”
Congratulations, Cassidy, on your state 4H leadership role and best wishes as you finish the year. Rio Arriba and Los Alamos County 4Hers are lucky to be represented by you!
For more questions about 4H look at https://aces.nmsu.edu/4H/about.html or call your local County Extension Office.