It is graduation season in the CNMI, with many students either going off to college or taking a step back to figure out which degree or career to pursue. 4H Marianas is here for the latter.
According to 4H Marianas president Alyssa Attao, they help the youth find their passion to help them to reach their potential in personal and career growth.
“We actually have so many programs and curriculums to help them find out where their interest is,” Attao said.
One of those programs is photography; 4H Marianas is currently opening a photography club at Saipan Southern High School. They also have science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM, programs, as well as agriculture programs.
“The mission of 4-H Marianas is to develop leadership, responsibility and life skills through the programs. …The youth can dip their toes in any of those fields so they can experience and see if they like it before they go off-island,” she added.
4H is a recognized organization in the United States and its territories. As of 2016, the organization had almost 6 million active participants and more than 25 million alumni.
“4H alumni is really big on giving back to the community and so the experiences you have through the program will really help later with work and even in the community if one wants to do volunteer work,” Attao said.
4H started working with the Northern Marianas College in 2015 where it was established as 4H Marianas. The group went into hibernation after Typhoon Soudelor in 2015.
“We began to pick up again in early 2017,” Attao said.
She said that 4H Marianas is still in its infancy; they are in the development stage in the CNMI, “but we have been very active in the community and right now we are deciding if we will open new clubs in the schools or have just a community club.”
“From my experience, the program have helped me identify what field I wanted to be working in. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do but, through 4H Marianas, [I learned to]…focus my energy working in youth development, education and counseling,” she added.
4H Marianas was one of the beneficiaries of the recent Hyatt Charity Golf Tournament, where they received $12,000. Attao said that the organization is expanding to the different islands.
“To date, 4H Marianas has 40 volunteers from Saipan and Tinian and we have expanded to having 10 advisers and 20 counselor-in-training ages 12-15. We are also working on opening a club [on] Rota to touch base with the youth there,” she added.
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