Amanda Hachtel joined Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2012 at the age of ten. Her mother, Wendy, started the Southern Stars 4-H horse club in Santa Rosa County. Her love of horses and animals was a perfect fit for 4-H and Amanda.
Amanda said she has learned a lot in 4-H. She also says 4-H has meant courage and commitment to her. Her first summer with 4-H meant 4-H camp and since she was timid and nervous about going to camp her first year, she felt she needed courage to attend camp. Amanda attended that first year, and the next year, and many years thereafter. In fact, she has celebrated many of her birthdays during camp weeks at 4-H Camp Timpoochee over the years.
In time, as Amanda got older and became a counselor for new campers, she remembered her first year at camp and how friendly everyone was to her. She said it was then that she wanted to be a camp counselor so she could “make a difference in kid’s lives the same way my counselors affected mine.” Amanda has been one of the top counselors every year at camp and also trained many new counselors.
“4-H has given me the courage and ability to make decisions that will benefit me as well as committing myself and my work, not to back down from those plans.”
All of us staff and volunteers here at Santa Rosa County 4-H thank you, Amanda, for all of your years of hard work and dedication to the program. We see how you have used the skills you have learned through 4-H to set goals for yourself.
As Amanda graduates with honors from Jay High School, she begins a new journey with service still on her mind. Amanda will be joining the United States Army Reserves. Her plans include graduating from AIT in Texas and then attend the University of West Florida as an ROTC member and obtain her prerequisites for her veterinarian degree that she will pursue at Auburn University. Congratulations to you, Amanda.
To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, organizational skills, and goal setting, to your children or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.
Special thanks to Prudence Caskey, UF/IFAS Santa Rosa County 4-H Agent, for providing this article and pictures.