Xavier Bell interns as a program assistant for the National 4-H Council
Agriculture and Extension Education senior Xavier Bell interned as a program assistant for the National 4-H Council this summer. He will graduate in December with a concentration in extension and non-formal education and a minor in leadership development.
What did your internship this summer entail?
As a program assistant for the National 4-H Council, one also becomes a certified D.C. tour guide. I was responsible for leading my delegation into Washington D.C., giving them the history of the federal city and its historic landmarks and buildings, explaining how the federal city is designed and providing them history about the memorials and monuments we visited throughout the week.
I was also a facilitator for both National 4-H Councils: Citizenship Washington Focus and Leadership Washington Focus. CWF is a week-long educational program for high school 4-H’ers. Throughout the week, 4-H’ers attend workshops where they write a bill on a particular issue. This year’s topics included: Congressional Term Limits, Cyberbullying, Media Conglomerates, and Young Farmer Incentives. At the end of the week, delegates convened as one group to conduct a mock congressional session, where they debated, asked clarifying questions and voted whether to pass or fail a bill. LWF is a weeklong leadership program for middle school 4-H’ers entering grades 7 through 9. Throughout the week, 4-H’ers learn more about what it takes to be a good leader. Each day had a different theme; Confidence, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking. Delegates participated in educational programs focused on each and visited sites around the district. I also served as the liaison between the National 4-H Conference Center and my state delegations.
What was your favorite part of the internship?
My favorite part of the internship is getting to know all the delegates and watching them grow throughout the week. I can remember at the beginning of the weeks, how shy everyone was and by the end of the week, how outgoing each delegate became. I also noticed how open-minded and accepting of others opinions and ideas each person became by the end of the week. I believe that’s one thing both programs CWF and LWF does tremendously well.
Would you recommend this internship to students?
I would definitely recommend this internship to others. Not only do students get the opportunity to spend an entire summer in the nation’s Capitol, they also get to work with amazing people from across the country. This internship is very rewarding because of the personal growth that comes along with the ability to facilitate workshops as well as the opportunity to help 4-H’ers grow from across the country.
What is something valuable that you took away from this internship?
Something valuable that I took away from the internship is the fact that we should always be civically engaged as citizens of the U.S. Throughout the summer, I engaged in a number of healthy discussions related to policies to show delegates not everyone has the same viewpoint, and at the end of the discussion I always mentioned the importance of being civically engaged as citizens.
Did the internship influence your career goals?
I want to become a 4-H Agent, so how fitting is it I worked for National 4-H Council? One thing that 4-H agents do is educate 4-H’ers outside of the classroom, so this program was good for gaining experience in educating 4-H’ers. The material I received to educate them throughout the week will be used once I become a 4-H agent. The 4-H Motto “Learn by Doing” certainly applies to this internship. 4-H’ers from across the country came to Washington D.C to participate in CWF to learn more about citizenship and LWF to learn more about leadership. As a 4-H agent in the future, I plan to bring 4-H’ers to experience both CWF and LWF.