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 2017, 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. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for your event please complete the request form. Submitted by Shannon Desjardins, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from Prince Edward 4-H Association I think this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, as I don’t think many of you know who I am. My name is Shannon Desjardins, and I am currently in my 12th year, last year, in the 4-H program. I have completed just over 112 clubs, and am currently completing two clubs as we speak. I have completed almost all of my clubs in my home association, Prince Edward, with boarder hopping next door to Hastings for two club projects. I have explored multiple clubs in my home association including, milk makes it better, beef, woodworking, goat, scrapbooking, sheep, maple syrup, baking, pet, curling and more. I have had the opportunity to sit on my home association directors’ board as a Youth Director and I have been a youth leader in various clubs I have participated in as well. The 4-H program has given so much to me that I felt this year, 2017, I wanted to give back to 4-H. Being given the opportunity to represent 4-H Ontario as one of the six 4-H Ontario Ambassadors for 2017 has been a life changing experience. I have had the chance to attend several events already, traveling throughout Ontario. I have met so many wonderful new people; 4-H leaders, 4-H members, 4-H staff, volunteers, 4-H alumni and community members who want to learn more about the 4-H program. This has given me the opportunity to share what 4-H has done for me, my 4-H story, with so many groups and individuals. I would not be here talking to you as a 2017 4-H Ontario Ambassador if it wasn’t for our two amazing sponsors, GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy FS. Thank you for allowing me to represent 4-H Ontario this year. It is a real honor. “Learn to do by doing” never goes a miss in your daily activities if you are a current or past 4-H member. I entered the 4-H program as a very shy individual who didn’t want to take risks or try something new. 4-H was what I needed to come out of my shell and start trying new things. 4-H taught me to be a strong leader and gave me communication skills. 4-H taught me to learn from my mistakes and to keep moving forward. Without all the fantastic 4-H leaders, volunteers and senior members who took me under their wing, I would not be the person who I have become today. 4-H as a member has allowed me to try new things and not be ashamed if something goes wrong. Instead, I learned that out of any bad situation, there is always a bright side and sometimes you can just change what you were doing at the start to make it work. 4-H has also helped me follow my dream and attend post-secondary education through scholarships and grants. Without 4-H, I would not be in the position I am today as an Agronomist. The 4-H program has given me so many opportunities to meet lifetime friends who have similar interests to myself, try new club projects, learn valuable life skills that I will use in my everyday adult life and to always “Learn to do by Doing.”