Lawson Mathis joined Santa Rosa County 4-H because her cousin, Amanda, had been a 4-H member for years. Lawson’s first experience was a state-wide 4-H event known as 4-H University, held in Gainesville,Florida. She remembers having a broken toe prior to her trip and not knowing anyone but Amanda. Amanda and Trent, another Santa Rosa County 4-H member, had to help her get around Gainesville all week. As Lawson recalls, “they never left me behind either!”
Beginning her 4-H experience at such a significant, week-long event, Lawson could have easily been overwhelmed. Instead, she thrived. Lawson dived into the 4-H program and learned all it had to offer that week. Lawson has been in 4-H ever since moving to Santa Rosa County her freshman year of high school.
“Throughout my entire time in 4-H, no one left me out or left me behind for anything. I have made so many friends and great memories along the way, and I hope I can continue to do so in the future.”
Lawson always been part of the 4-H family. She served every year as a camp counselor at 4-H Camp Timpoochee and made sure that the same attitude of inclusion continued with her campers. Because of 4-H, she has made friends from all over the state as well. She has a caring and giving nature that will be hard to replace. Lawson will be attending Troy University in the fall and majoring in nursing and minoring in American Sign Language. She plans to be a nurse anesthetist upon graduating with her master’s degree.
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.
*Please note Lawson’s pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we remind people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.*