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Marianas Variety: 4-H helps NMI youth (October 4, 2019)

IN the Northern Marianas, 4-H has helped over 15,000 boys and girls become confident, independent, resilient and compassionate leaders, according to the proclamation designating Oct. 6-12 as National 4-H Week.

Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios signed the proclamation on Thursday at Northern Marianas College in the presence of 4-H Marianas youth officials from Saipan, Tinian and Rota as well as officials of the Youth Affairs Office, the Division of Youth Services, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library and NMC-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services.

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization with almost six million members across the nation.

In the NMI, 4-H was founded in the 1950s.

Palacios commended the NMC-CREES Family Community and Youth Development Program for carrying out local 4-H programs.

In his younger days, he added, he learned about plants, growing crops and farming. “That was my 4-H.”

Interim NMC President Frankie Eliptico said 4-H plays a “very critical role in developing leaders in NMC and the whole community — we have seen a lot of them…and the results of their work and volunteerism, which have made an impact on the community throughout the CNMI.”

In May, the local 4-H participated in the Raise Your Hand campaign — an online voting competition initiated by the national 4-H organization — and won $20,000 for local community programs.

It was Robert Suzuki Jr. who brought the 4-H Marianas Club to NMC in 2015. From six members, the club now has about 100 volunteers throughout the CNMI.

Suzuki said they have a strong group on Tinian, and there is a plan to set up the club at Saipan Southern High School.

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