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Gov. Ralph DLG Torres proclaimed last week the period from Oct. 2 to 8 as National 4-H Week in the CNMI and later pledged $10,000 to the club.

4-H Marianas Youth State Council president Rownel Jody Coloma, 4-H Saipan Youth Council vice president Raina Avelino, Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Services interim dean Patricia Coleman, and members of the 4-H Marianas Youth Council joined the signing of the proclamation at the Kagman Community Center last Wednesday.

Prior to the reading and signing of the proclamation, Natashia Tomokane, a parent of children who attended the 4-H club, read a testament to the success and impact of the club on her children.

Part of her testament states that she didn’t realize the program had “such a significant impact” on her children’s “individual growth emotionally, physically, and mentally.”

“What I want to convey to you today, is that so often these types of youth programs are perceived as inconsequential, insignificant, and unimportant, and therefore are undervalued. I myself was guilty of this perception. Summer camp was just somewhere kids can go to have something to do while out of school, until I witnessed the impact it had on my kids and ultimately in my home. This week, we celebrate not only 4-H Marianas, but the hardworking individuals behind the scenes, who, because of their meticulous planning, effective execution, and implementation of this program, are the reasons why 4-H is so successful. Let’s continue to invest in programs that cater to the exponential growth of our children; they are the future leaders of the Marianas,” said Tomokane.

The proclamation was later read by her daughter, Peige Tomokane, and Lance Ignacio.

The proclamation encourages “citizens to recognize 4-H for the significant impact they have made and continue to make by empowering youth with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.”

Torres then announced that, like last year, he will donate $10,000 to the club again.

4-H focuses on helping the youth in the community develop life skills, entrepreneurial skills, and fiscal management skills. It provides hands-on projects to offer experiences to young people in important areas such as health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement.

Through 4-H’s network of caring and supportive volunteers and professionals, mentoring is available to all 4-H’ers to help them grow into leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. 4-H inspires the youth to become confident, independent, resilient, and compassionate leaders in our community and positively impact those around them.

The proclamation signing was followed by a 4-H Youth Mini Carnival, which is part of the ongoing celebration of 4-H week.