Urban Family Finds a Home in 4-H
Laura Devick, a 4-H leader and parent in Cass County, was not involved in 4-H as a youth. Now she leads an urban 4-H club in Fargo, where her six children have all been members. When her children were younger, Devick received an invitation from another family to attend a 4-H meeting.
After experiencing a meeting and learning about the variety of project areas, the Devicks determined that 4-H was the perfect fit for their family. It provided a way for the entire family to be involved in one activity, while still allowing all family members to pursue their own interests.
For example, one of Devick’s children is passionate about music and has been able to do music-based projects. He has found ways to use music in meetings and demonstrations for the club, and he has developed the skills to talk about what he is doing and explain it to others.
Others have pursued opportunities in communication, agriculture and natural resources, and citizenship and diplomacy.
“It’s not about following a 4-H model,” says Devick. “It’s about letting 4-H take what you’re doing to the next level.”
Devick credits 4-H with fostering creativity and providing an outlet for her children’s interests. As a leader, she tries to make her club’s meetings action oriented to engage members. She wants families to see that 4-H is about developing leaders and helping youth develop their own unique leadership style.
“All leaders look different – some are out front, and some are service leaders behind the scenes,” says Devick. “4-H has helped me see and appreciate the gifts of my kids.”
Devick also values the support of North Dakota 4-H and NDSU Extension. “Through 4-H, we have a network of people who want our kids to succeed, and they look out for leadership opportunities that fit each one,” she says.
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