For more than a century, 4-H has helped young people open doors to new opportunities. 4-H helped Noelle Fields grow from a shy student to a flourishing young woman whose leadership skills were recognized by the Governor of Mississippi.
As a ninth-grader, Noelle Sykes became withdrawn and depressed because she was being bullied at school. A family friend who volunteered at the local 4-H encouraged her to join the club and meet positive kids and good role models. Noelle joined the Consolidated 4-H Club in Lee County, and promptly won first place in her first project, public speaking. She continued to pursue 4-H projects that tested her communication skills, as well as social service efforts, such as collecting eyeglasses for those who can’t afford them.
Her path to 4-H came full circle when she began performing in an anti-bullying play with the 4-H State Technology Team under the direction of Dr. Linda Mitchell, a regional coordinator for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. In addition to presenting the play at local elementary schools and at community events, Noelle traveled to Washington, D.C., and New York City. Through more than 200 hours of volunteer service, Noelle earned Congressional bronze and silver medals.
Read more at MSU Extension Matters.