- The Lauriston/Thompson Pen 4-H Club was named 2013 Jamaica 4-H champion community club.
- With an enrolment of more than 120 members, the club is a model organization for other clubs.
- The club’s success is attributed to the involvement of the members and the community.
The leadership of the Lauriston/Thompson Pen 4-H Club is receiving kudos for the organisation’s outstanding performance in the Jamaica 4-H family of clubs, and the impact it has been having on the St. Catherine community where it is located.
“The performance of the club has been excellent. It has been a lot of hard work and sleepless nights,” says founder, Shian Christie, following the organisation’s successful staging of its seventh annual Stew Festival in the Spanish Town community, on November 2.
Now celebrating its 16th anniversary, the club was named 2013 Jamaica 4-H champion community club, capping what has been a highly successful year of activities. Among the many achievements are top prizes in key 4-H activities, such as budding and grafting, composing and potting, cake baking, pig care and management, goat care, and towel folding.
“Our 16th anniversary celebration was outstanding, and the sponsorship was overwhelming,” a proud Mr. Christie tells JIS News.
With an enrolment of more than 120 members, aged five to 25 years, the club is a model organization for development of other clubs.
“Lauriston and Thompson Pen Club is the leading 4-H community club in Jamaica and has created significant impact in Lauriston and its environs. It has, in fact, prevented many young persons from a life of crime and violence and many of them who have benefitted have taken up viable careers in teaching, agriculture, social work and business,” informs Ron Blake, Acting Executive Director of the Jamaica 4-H Club.
Mr. Blake identifies factors that have accounted for the accomplishments of the club as outstanding leadership and strong networking.
“The success of the club is hinged on the strong leadership of Shian Christie, the founder, and the network forged with the political, security, community and corporate St. Catherine. It underpins the energy and life of the club,” he says.
For his part, Mr. Christie attributes the club’s success to the involvement of the members and the community. “We work together. We achieve much because of the commitment,” he tells JIS News.
“We have chemistry and we gel,” adds Club President and Caribbean Maritime Institute student, Antonio Williams.
Mr. Williams notes that being a part of the 4-H movement provides practical benefits which enhance the lives and advance the careers of members. “We learn to develop our skills and see how successful we can be,” he says.
According to Vice President of the club, Tashine Charles, membership in the 4-H club equipped her with know-how, which she was able to apply to CXC examinations.
“I already had the knowledge and skills in Agriculture and Science, which is what I now teach,” says the proud clubbite. Miss Charles, now a trained teacher, who also specializes in Mathematics, is hoping that the club will attract new membership and impact more lives.
“My vision is for us to get more youth involvement, membership to grow, more persons to get into leadership, and develop more skills,” she says.
Meanwhile, Mr. Blake said the umbrella organization, which is active in hundreds of schools across Jamaica, is on a growth path.
“As an organization, the 4-H Club is strongly positioned at this time to continue to improve on our Key Performance Indicators. It is still by far the largest club and society in our schools,” he notes.
He says that the organization is working to meet the needs of its stakeholders in order to remain relevant. One such area is in the field of Information Technology.
“In responding to the dynamic expectation of our youth, the 4-H Club has significantly expanded its IT capabilities to deliver training, registration and social space for membership to interact. We have social media. All main platforms are available to our membership,” he points out.