(05/11/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — Two Louisiana 4-H volunteers recently received accolades from the National 4-H Council for their tireless service to the organization.
Gloria Miller, of St. Charles Parish, was named the 2021 National Lifetime Volunteer, and Jessica Parker, of Franklin Parish, was named the 2021 Regional Volunteer of the Year for the Southeast Region.
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. This is accomplished in three primary areas: civic engagement and leadership, healthy living and science.
The 4-H website describes Miller as “generous, hard-working, dedicated, relevant and inspirational,” adding that “In an ever-changing society, Mrs. Miller continues to be a constant, learning new delivery models and changing with the times and advancements in technology.”
Miller received the award for her service in numerous 4-H leadership roles over nearly two decades of service. She has served as an advocate for Louisiana 4-H and participated in continuing education and professional development opportunities to enhance her knowledge and experience.
She also conducts hands-on experiential learning workshops as leader of the 4-H Fashion Club.
“It was an absolute pleasure to highlight such an amazing person for her commitment to the 4-H program,” said Kali Zammit, the St. Charles Parish 4-H agent and LSU AgCenter parish chair who nominated Miller.
“Gloria is such a generous, genuine person. Even in the surprise of finding out that she won such an honorable award, Gloria was most overjoyed to know that the St. Charles 4-H Foundation would be receiving a monetary donation as part of the award,” Zammit said. “She truly bleeds green and is an asset and true advocate for the St. Charles Parish and Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program.”
Of Jessica Parker, the 4-H website says, “Through creating an inclusive environment, her programs inspire youth to adopt a welcoming attitude, and as a result, her youth learn to appreciate the diversity of all people.”
Parker earned her award by motivating members to become more engaged in their community, having members visit parish nursing homes, partnering with a local church on a canned food drive and making the most out of every opportunity — like when fundraising fell short for an end-of-the-year trip. She still wanted to provide an experience for her club, so she arranged a trip to a local state park and worked with a 4-H agent to provide transportation.
“She is a wonderful role model for the 4-H club members,” said Franklin Parish 4-H agent Kelly Lafferty. “Even though this past year has been difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on club meetings, Jessica has tried very hard to connect to the youth.”
One example of this is establishing a Google Classroom 4-H club meeting space, and keeping members updated with newsletters and contest information.
“Jessica has a great attitude and always looks to the positive,” Lafferty said.More about the awards and the recipients is located at https://bit.ly/3vUG5WH.
Gloria Miller volunteers her time chaperoning 4-H Fashion Camp. She is pictured here with members Sailor Davison, left, and Sarah Saunders, right. Photo by Kali Zammit/LSU AgCenter
Jessica Parker, a 4-H volunteer, said one of her favorite activities is when the 4-H club goes to area nursing homes in December to deliver Christmas cards to residents. Photo by Kelly Lafferty/LSU AgCenter