Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund opens doors to careers in Cooperative Extension
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In 2019, Missouri 4-H lost a longtime friend, Victoria L. “Vicky” Miserez. For more than 30 years, Miserez served Boone County 4-H in many capacities, including sitting on the program’s board of trustees.
Miserez’s husband, Bill Carter, established the Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund as a lasting testament to her love for 4-H. The fund finances the new Miserez-Carter 4-H Internship Program.
“The internship program was started with the hopes that the student would consider a future working in Cooperative Extension,” Carter said. “Vicky always led by example, and I know it was her hope that this program would encourage more counties to create opportunities for youth to engage in our agricultural communities, which are the backbone of our country and the world.”
“We are extremely grateful to Bill and Vicky for their generous donation,” said Christal Huber, a University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist in Boone County. “Through it, we were able to provide an excellent opportunity for college students to explore a career in 4-H youth development.”
In its inaugural year, the program attracted the perfect applicant: Justin Luster, a fourth-generation 4-H’er from Bunceton, Mo. Luster has been involved with 4-H for 11 years, even joining the Missouri 4-H council and attending the national conference.
As an intern, Luster assisted with council meetings, Student Nutrition Advisory Council trainings and the Boone County Fair. His favorite part, however, was heading the planning process for the 4-H day camps.
“I always thought I wanted to work with kids or in the education system,” said Luster, a sophomore majoring in human services at Northwest Missouri State University. “I thought this internship was an amazing opportunity.”
The day camps had diverse offerings ranging from shooting sports to robotics. Luster led teams of teen counselors and helped them hone their own leadership skills.
One of the most rewarding experiences happens at the end of the internship program at the county fairs, Luster said. “It was really cool to see some of the campers’ projects at the fair, seeing what they were doing with the program and not just at camp.”
Interns who are degree-seeking MU students can receive up to three credit hours, depending on the area of study. Applications open in early December and close in late January. Contact Christal Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
To contribute to the Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund, contact Missouri 4-H Foundation director Rachel Augustine at (573) 884-7641 or email@example.com.
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