Reflections of a 4-H member: Josiah Bear
State Youth Leadership Council member Josiah Bear shares views on youth leadership and civic engagement.
Josiah Bear is a 19-year-old 4-H participant from Clare County, Michigan, who has been actively involved in several statewide 4-H leadership programs including the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC) and 4-H Capitol Experience. Bear is currently attending his second year at Michigan State University. The following is a reflection of Bear’s experiences in those programs and the positive influence they have had on his life.
Jackie Martin (JM): Tell me about State Youth Leadership Council.
Josiah Bear (JB): State Youth Leadership Council is an elite team of 4-H’ers in Michigan that help solve problems facing Michigan 4-H today as we know it.
JM: What impact has your membership on State Youth Leadership Council had on your life?
JB: These experiences had a huge impact on my life. By being a part of State Youth Leadership Council, I have made great connections, memories and friends that I will always have, and helped shape some important issues in Michigan’s 4-H program.
JM: What has been your biggest take away from your 4-H experiences?
JB: The connections I have not only made around the state, but around the country. I also treasure the times in which I was able to help younger youth move towards finding their passions in life.
JM: What other statewide or national 4-H programs have been especially meaningful for you? What difference did they make on your life as a whole?
JB: 4-H Capitol Experience has been especially meaningful to me and my development in leadership. Through Capitol Experience, I learned what kind of leader I am, as well as the best process I may take in order to help others succeed as leaders. I have also gained a great understanding of how youth can make a difference at any level of the government.
JM: You’re currently serving as the student intern for 4-H Capitol Experience. What are your responsibilities? Has that role had any impact on your future goals?
JB: As 4-H Capitol Experience’s intern, my responsibilities include making contact with state legislators, lobbyists, government organizations and other major stakeholders around the state. This has lead me to pursue a degree in political science at Michigan State University.
JM: If you were to give an aspiring youth leader some advice, what would it be?
JB: If someone tells you you’re not able to accomplish your dreams, show them you can, and be the best there ever was.
JM: Speaking of dreams, where do you go from here? What goals are you hoping to achieve in the next five or 10 years?
JB: I plan to graduate Michigan State University with bachelor’s degrees in political science and music. I then hope to start working in the state government and slowly move my way up to help as many people as possible. On the music side of my life, I hope I continue to love and enjoy playing trumpet and have opportunities to play on the big stages every now and then.
Bear is one of 26 members of the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council. State Youth Leadership Council members provide a youth voice for Michigan 4-H programs and participate in a variety of activities to help promote and improve 4-H programs.
This collection of articles features young leaders excelling in Michigan 4-H Youth Development programs hosted by Michigan State University Extension. Stay tuned for more articles featuring these fantastic young leaders.