Letters to the Editor

Vote 'yes' on Prop. 1: 4-H empowers youth and builds strong families

Julie Tate ...
Julie Tate ... 'I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without 4-H.'
— image credit: Julie Tate

I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without 4-H.

Almost every day after school for seven years, I was at the barn working with my 4-H project horse. The San Juan County 4-H fair, I remember telling my parents, “was even better than Christmas.” My horse wasn’t a high-dollar show pony (very few 4-H animals are), but I loved him a lot, and after years of hard work, we finally started earning some blue ribbons.

So many of my favorite memories are from those days in the August sun, showing my friends, relatives and community how far my horse and I had come since the previous year.

I can think of few other organizations that promote such a positive interaction between teens and their parents. Together with many other 4-H families, my dad and I worked side by side fixing fences, picking rocks, and painting the fairgrounds barn. From these adults and my fellow 4-H members, I learned about responsibility, leadership and accomplishment.

We all know the reality of island life; if you are not involved with something positive, it is easy to become involved with something negative. Let’s spend our tax dollars on our 4-H program so that we don’t need to spend them on our probation system.

We are not voting whether we should fund the 4-H program “a little less” or a “little more.” If Proposition 1 fails, the 4-H PROGRAM WILL BE ELIMINATED.

On behalf of the more than 350 4-H kids in San Juan County, please vote "yes" on Prop. 1.

Julie Tate
San Francisco

— Julie Tate, a native of San Juan Island, graduated in May from Pomona College. While there, she spent two years as the class president and founded the Claremont Colleges Equestrian Team, which is composed of more than 40 riders that compete all over Southern California. She is currently working at a non-profit in San Francisco that serves children in the foster care system.

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