4-H Where Are They Now?
Q&A with Rhiannon Page
When her mother signed her up for 4-H in Lee County at the age of 10 with now-retired agents Sherry Smith and Beth Randall Youngblood, Shannon native Alivia Paden Roberts had no idea how influential the program would be in her life. Through participating in project areas such as leadership and public speaking, Roberts gained skills that led to her success. Roberts now works in Washington, D.C., as deputy White House liaison at the United States Department of Justice.
What was your favorite 4-H activity, and why?
Public speaking. I realized quickly that I enjoyed standing in front of an audience while communicating a message. I built confidence in my speaking abilities and learned how to compose a well-written speech, which I find myself doing regularly in my career today.
Which project areas did you compete in?
Achievement, Clothing/Textiles and Fashion Revue, Expressive Arts, Food and Nutrition, Leadership, Personal Development, Photography, and Public Speaking.
Did you meet new friends in 4-H? What made them special?
Yes, I met new friends with similar interests and hobbies. Even today, I have remained in contact with them or continuously keep up with their many accomplishments. These are genuine, long-lasting friendships between people with similar interests because 4-H fosters an environment that helps members learn more about each other with every interaction.
4-H taught me to . . .
think about the impact I could have on my club, community, country, and my world, and I began setting attainable goals, creating a strategy, and using the skills and networks I gained through 4-H to execute.
4-H taught me to stop . . .
being afraid to try something new because this is a great way to grow and discover true passion. I started living by the motto, “It’s better to say yes than to say no before giving it a chance.” You just might fall in love with it, which happened to me a few times.
Because of 4-H . . .
I was afforded opportunities to travel to Washington, D.C., to receive my bronze, silver, and gold medals from Congress, thanks to 4-H’s partnership with the U.S. Congressional Award Program. I was also a National Conference delegate. I was introduced to the world of political communications, which is the main reason I pursued a career working in communications on Capitol Hill.
If I hadn’t been in 4-H . . .
I would not have been as competitive completing applications for college scholarships. 4-H, without a doubt, is what set me apart from other applicants.
How do you carry out the 4-H pledge in your life now?
I have committed to being a public servant to improve my community, country, and world. I have a platform, “The Dream Keeper,” which was developed primarily to enlighten youth of their right to dream and make dreams become a reality. I am reminded each day to “Make the Best Better.”
Why should kids join 4-H?
4-H changes your perspective and gives you a new lens to view life through, whether you ask for it or not. It is a risk worth taking to join.