Written by Kathy Silva, Cumberland County Extension Association
Ansel is a sophomore at Lake Region High School in Naples. Ansel recently attended a conference in Washington, D.C. to train teens to promote healthy lifestyles in their own 4-H Group and also in their local communities. The name of the conference was “4-H Healthy Living Youth Choice”. Attending the conference with Ansel was Barbara Baker and Lisa Fishman, Extension staff.
Ansel’s purpose in attending the conference was to learn about healthy living so he, in turn, could educate other teens at Lake Region High School. He also would like to assist other teens by promoting healthy eating habits in his own community. Lake Region High School has a very active 4-H Club and Ansel has worked on many projects with Mitchell Mason, 4-H Extension Educator in Cumberland County. The “Healthy Living” Conference which Ansel attended as a representative from one of Maine’s active 4-H Chapters and the assistance the Extension has provided regarding education and training will provide Ansel the tools to help other youth.
With regard to the subject of Healthy Living, Ansel commented that buying local foods and going to Farmer’s Markets aids and builds local communities. Ansel is very active in sports (Lacrosse, Golf, Sailing, Skiing) and tries to always eat organic foods and plants and maintains his own vegetable garden.
Ansel has been a very active 4-H member for 10 years. He started going to 4-H meetings with his two other siblings when he was 3 years old. As a child, he had chickens to take care of and learned what responsibility meant. As he grew with 4-H, he developed leadership and facilitator skills, learned how to focus on community building, became interested in public speaking through 4-H courses and learned how the 4-H Program provides education for youth. Ansel indicated that without being involved in 4-H, he would not have developed the skills necessary to build his confidence level. He indicated that his parents have been very supportive to him of his 4-H activities.
Ansel is a very hard working, focused and personable young man. College is in his future but he credits 4-H with helping him to develop the skills necessary to reach his future goals.
Ansel stressed that 4-H is a big part of his life. He has made many friends by being part of 4-H.