The Ambassador Beat: Olivia Bolender

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2015, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Olivia Bolender, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from York 4-H Association

As I look back on my ambassador experience so far, I realize how lucky I am to have travelled across Ontario learning new things about myself and strengthening my roots with 4-H. When I was 10 years old I signed up for 4-H, unaware about all of the amazing opportunities that would come with being a 4-H member. The friends I’ve made and places I’ve travelled to will always stick with me, even when I am no longer a 4-H member. I would like to share some things that I have learned while being a 4-H Ontario Ambassador.

  1. Never get too comfortable while attending a 4-H event because when you are least expecting it you will probably be asked to go up on stage and give an impromptu speech.
  2. Take a lot of photos so you can remind yourself which events you’ve attended each month and save the memories from each ambassador experience.
  3. Cherish the moments you spend with the other ambassadors because you will definitely miss them throughout the year when you don’t all attend the same events together.
  4. Take notes during the training weekend when Marianne is explaining dinner etiquette because you will attend multiple formal dinners throughout the year and you don’t want to be using the dessert fork during dinner.
  5. Be thankful for all of the hard work that Adriana does to make sure the ambassadors have an enjoyable year and are up to date on the details of every event.
  6. As hard as it may seem, try to remember names of people you meet at 4-H events because there is a good chance you will see them again at another 4-H event.
  7. Be grateful for the sponsors and the support and contributions they provide to the ambassador program to keep it going every year.
  8. Attend as many events as you can because events are a great way to network and meet new people.
  9. Always bring an extra pair of khaki pants in case you accidentally spill food on the pair you are wearing.
  10. Have fun and enjoy every moment because being a 4-H Ontario Ambassador is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Although there are many other things I have learned while being an ambassador, these are the 10 that stand out to me. My time as an ambassador is slowly coming to an end, which brings sadness but joy because I know there will be a new team of ambassadors to enjoy their own 4-H experiences. Even though I will soon no longer be an ambassador, I will always be an advocate and promoter of 4-H.

 

The Ambassador Beat: Olivia Bolender

The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program provides youth with advanced level training in leadership, citizenship, communications and public relations. Ambassadors put their energy and 4-H experiences to work recruiting new members and sharing the 4-H story. Throughout 2015, each of 4-H Ontario’s six Ambassadors will submit blog entries about their experiences in the program. The 4-H Ontario Ambassador program is proudly sponsored by GROWMARK, Inc. and UPI Energy LP. For more info on the Ambassador program click here. To book an Ambassador for you event please complete the request form.

Submitted by Olivia Bolender, 4-H Ontario Youth Ambassador from York 4-H Association

Hello, my name is Olivia Bolender and I am honoured to be representing 4-H Ontario as a 2015 Ambassador. I am proud to say that I am a York 4-H member and have been for 10 years. I live on a dairy farm in Stouffville with my parents and grandparents. I just recently graduated from Georgian College with my diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion. In September I will be heading to the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, where I will earn my associate diploma in Agriculture. Throughout my 10 years in 4-H I have completed over 40 clubs and have attended many regional and provincial events. I love being a 4-H Ontario Ambassador because I have the opportunity to promote 4-H to adults and youth across the province.

For a lot of my life I have watched the people around me volunteer, which led me to do the same. My first volunteer experience was being a committee member at my local fair. For me, volunteering was a very positive experience and it made me want to continue to volunteer. I learned leadership and teamwork skills and how to effectively communicate with others. Joining 4-H caused me to see more volunteers in action, which helped grow my passion for volunteering.

When I heard about the opportunity to volunteer at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, I knew it was something that I would love to do. I found out about the opportunity while at school and immediately applied. I went through the interview process and months later I was chosen to be a volunteer at the CIBC Stadium for Athletics. Working alongside athletes and other volunteers for the Pan Am Games made me proud to be a volunteer. It was brought to my attention during the closing ceremonies, while listening to a speech from the Vice President of the Pan Am Games, how much work has been put in to make the two-week event a success. It has taken a large number of volunteers to make the Pan Am Gams successful over the past two weeks. This volunteer experience has really made me appreciate 4-H Ontario and its volunteers that have been successful for 100 years.

I have come to realize that in 4-H there is a real sense of community and camaraderie among volunteers. Our 4-H volunteers are motivated by passion and not recognition, and have given me a real tangible sense of belonging within my 4-H community. Our volunteers practice small acts everyday that make 4-H and extraordinary organization to be a part of. As 4-H Ontario celebrates its 100th Anniversary, events are planned across the province so that members, leaders, volunteers and sponsors can celebrate this moment in history. I am honoured that I am able to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of 4-H Ontario and its volunteers.