4-H Youth educator retiring after 15 years of service
Posted: 07/23/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Sharon Hernandez
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Pam Brock, 4-H youth director for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service listens to Weston Markham, 7, during day camp for young children at the fairgrounds Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard)
Pam Brock, 4-H youth educator for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, talks to junior leaders as they organize the next event for a day camp for children at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen on June 13.
Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard
Pam Brock, 4-H youth director for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service talks to Junior Leaders as they organize the next event for the day camp for young children at the fairgrounds Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Javen Yoder is seen at right. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard)
“When I started the program with the children, most of the communication with the families was through print,” she said. “Posters and other projects were all hand-made. Now we see fewer projects in which (children) didn’t use a computer.”
Because of technology, many aspects of the 4-H program have changed, such as surveys for parents and applications for enrollment, which are only managed online now.
However, participation from volunteers remains as strong as ever, something Brock said she admires from the organization.
“The thing that I find amazing with 4-H is that people come in and they stay,” she said. “We have volunteers who have been here for years.”
Brock, who has worked as county educator for 4-H youth development from the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, juggled several tasks, including the 4-H Fashion Show program, the Exploring 4-H program and training 4-H officers. She also worked with schools and local agencies, bringing awareness to topics such as nutrition and the justice system.
Now, after years of service to the community, Brock is retiring by the end of this year’s fair.
While most Indiana counties had two youth educators from the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service office, Elkhart County had Brock as a third educator who often worked with children in after-school programs.
“She works really hard at what she does, and I don’t know if I could do the same job,” said Mary Day, youth leader for 4-H.
Day worked with Brock on the fashion show, and while Day did most of the interaction with children, Brock was the one who worked on the logistics, placing several items together for the event. Nonetheless, Brock would still talk with children and was eager to help them if they had questions.
“She seemed to always be excited about what the kids were making or what they were putting together because there’s a whole range of ages and products,” Day said.
Brock worked with children of all ages in the 4-H programs. But she strived to improve the Explorers’ Program, which is aimed at children in first and second grade.
Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, an extension educator who also worked closely with Brock, said Brock’s position will not be replaced. Rather, they will rearrange some positions to fill in her responsibilities.
“I think a strength of Pam’s was she was always organized and got things done,” she said. “There are a lot of people wishing her well and she will be missed in our office.”