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Williams named 4-H Canada National Volunteer Leader of the Year

February 25, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By ALYSSA PARKHILL

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On February 22, 4-H Canada held their Leadership Awards where a Caledon resident was awarded the 2020 National Volunteer Leader of the Year Award.

Carol Williams has been involved with Ontario’s 4-H Peel Club for the past 31 years where she has dedicatedly worked to provide opportunities and positive impacts to Peel youth. 

4-H Canada has been working with youth members for over 100 years with organizations all across the country and are in over 7 countries internationally. With almost 24,000 members and 8,700 volunteer leaders, their goal has been to provide a safe, inclusive and positive environment through various programs to motivate young leaders. 

The programs focus on four pillars, including community engagement, science and technology, environment and healthy living, and sustainable agriculture and food security. 

The 4-H club begins accepting participants from six-years-old until the age of 21. From age six to eight, members are known as clover buds, those age nine to 21, are 4-H members. 

Williams became a leader back when her daughter became a member, where previous 4-H leader in Palgrave, Lois Downey, then retired and Williams took over. 

“The time has flown by and the kids are amazing,” stated Williams. “The opportunities that 4-H itself, provides to the leaders to train them and be an organization, it gives all kinds of opportunities for the kids to try just about anything they want.”

Williams was nominated for the National Volunteer Leader of the Year Award by two Peel members for her dedication, passion and work she has put in to make a positive impact on the 4-H members in the Peel club. 

“It was such a surprise. I received an email saying that two of my members had nominated me. I read the letter and then went back to the 4-H website to read about what the award actually was, what it was being given for,” explained Williams. “I was reading down and it said the award was going to be a hundred dollars, I thought that was strange because I’m sure my letter said one thousand dollars. Then realized that a thousand dollars meant that I had won the national award. That’s when it sunk in that it wasn’t for Ontario; it was for Canada.”

Williams plans on using that money given from the award and putting back into the 4-H club.

“Anybody who has had any involvement with 4-H would understand it is an amazing program for young people,” she continued.  

The Leadership Awards were held virtually due to COVID-19 this past Monday where Williams as well as other recipients were honoured. 

The event was hosted by comedian and television personality Rick Mercer who facilitated the awards and the hour-long event. 

Williams explains that being able to contribute and be there for the 4-H youth motivates her to continue her work with the club. 

“It’s the kids,” she said. “Knowing that by being there for the kids, that this kind of opportunity for them is going to continue on to the future. It was important for me to encourage other adults to become leaders, so the kids would have the best change ever.”

New members are always welcome to the Peel 4-H club and are encouraged to reach out to learn about the opportunities provided. 

To learn more, or to become a member, please visit 4-hontario.ca, or 4-h-canada.ca. 



         

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