The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2015, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form. Submitted by Ava Doner, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Durham East 4-H Association Hello! My name is Ava Doner and I am a proud member of the Durham East 4-H Association. I am honoured to be given the opportunity this year to represent 4-H Ontario as a 2015 Ambassador. I started 4-H when I was 10 years old and from the beginning I knew that it was an organization that I wanted to be a part of for many years to come. However, at this time, I did not know how much 4-H was going to influence me and allow me to develop as a person. I specifically remember when I attended my first 4-H dairy meeting in 2007 where I was shy, timid and nervous to attend. I was a 10-year-old child who knew almost nothing about agriculture or dairy cattle, and I was about to stand in a circle with 21-year-olds who mostly grew up on a dairy farm their whole life. For the first couple meetings, the only thing I would say was my name and the answer to that evening’s roll call. After great encouragement and continuous support from fellow 4-H’ers and leaders, I started to begin realizing that everyone is welcome in 4-H and there was no reason to be shy. It’s amazing how much those few members and leaders back in 2007 have influenced my life. They demonstrated true 4-H spirit and allowed me to get more involved within the 4-H program. I have taken the steps to make the most of my 4-H experience by attending Provincial Leadership Camp, Future Leaders In Action, the TD Canadian 4-H Dairy Classic at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Inter-County Judging competitions, and the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, USA on the 4-H Ontario Judging team. From every meeting and opportunity that I have been engaged with, I have developed leadership, enthusiasm, communication and public relations skills that I will carry with me throughout life. For these reasons, I wanted to find a way that I could give back to all that 4-H has given me and encourage members and leaders to take advantage of all that 4-H has to offer. I couldn’t think of a better way to do this than applying to be an Ambassador. I have embarked on the Ambassador journey with five others as we travel across Ontario to network with youth, parents, volunteers and sponsors. In just a few short months, I have had the opportunity to attend a wide range of functions, such as, different 4-H clubs, symposiums and open houses. It is extremely rewarding to travel across Ontario and see how 4-H impacts so many people and how the values promoted throughout 4-H are so common throughout the province. This year, 4-H Ontario celebrates 100 years as a non-profit organization. Attending different events has truly opened up my eyes to see that the real reason 4-H is 100 years old is because of the dedicated members, volunteers, sponsors and staff who are proud to wave their 4-H flag wherever they go. Thank you to everyone who has had a vision of giving back to this influential organization. Happy Birthday, 4-H Ontario!