4-H Brings Leadership and Opportunities to Students in Broader East Lyme Area

Opportunities through program lay base for students’ future endeavors


Senior En-Ming trains steer to show at agricultural shows.


Head, heart, hands, and health. The four parts of 4-H promote leadership, public service and speaking, and other positive qualities. The central idea of the program is to get youth involved in long term, hands on projects that further leadership and interest development.

According to 4-H, throughout the U.S, more than six million kids participate in these programs. On a more focused level, ELHS students are involved in projects that expand their interests for future endeavors.

One of these students, senior En-Ming Holtz, is part of the Lebanon 4-H Dairy and Beef Club that specializes in cattle. He became involved at a young age, as 4-H has been running in his family for generations.

“I joined 4-H to gain experience with different species of animals because I want to be a veterinarian. I approached my neighbor who raises beef cattle and she recommended that I join 4-H and show beef so that I have a goal to strive for and lots of people to learn from. Over time, I have become more and more involved in 4-H,” Holtz said.

Another member of 4-H, sophomore Maya D’Aquila, is part of the agriculture program. “It’s a good outlet for a
lot of people because most kids who do 4-H have a farm. It teaches you how to maintain a farm sustainably,
and has scholarships and opportunities that can help you for college if you choose to take that route,” D’Aquila said.

At the end of the year, New London County 4-H has a fair where participants can show off their projects. For Holtz, it’s “one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.” His project: taking a wild steer and training it to show at agricultural fairs.

“Working with your project for a year and being able to see all your work pay off when you are at the fair is a great experience. My experiences training wild cows to show at fairs has taught me a lot about patience and perseverance. The adults in 4-H believe in giving control to the members so you get real experience