By: Mariah Stollar
Community Leadership, Community and Extension Education
I have known ever since I was a little girl that I wanted to help people. Growing up, I helped my mom take care of my little sisters, helped build my family’s agritourism business and helped “make the best better” by completing community service through my county’s 4-H program.
When I was a teenager, I realized that I wanted to carry my passion for helping others into a career that would directly impact the community. Being a part of the 4-H program made me realize what an impact that extension educators can have on youth, and prompted me to pursue a career in extension.
As part of my studies in Community and Extension Education, I completed my 2 week Early Field Experience in Hardin County Extension office.
Before starting my Early Field Experience in Hardin County, I had only experienced what happens in my local office, Washington County. Even though I knew Washington County’s programs relatively well, I had not been aware of all the things that educators do behind the scenes. I also learned that a collaborative effort is important among all extension program areas, including 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Development, to ensure a strong county extension program.
Mark Light, the 4-H Educator, made arrangements for me to work with the ANR and FCS educators, as well as himself and the 4-H Program Assistant. I learned that a lot more goes into extension than planning camp, pre-fair judging and the county fair. Our educators work so hard to improve our communities, and I am now more grateful for them than I ever have been before. I cannot wait to use what I learned in my future extension career!