When Pittsburg County 4-H’er Brandi Moore joined the youth organization at the tender age of nine, she wasn’t sure it was going to be her thing. She attended some booster club meetings with her parents, along with some local meetings, but she just didn’t feel like 4-H had much to offer.
Fortunately, she learned this was the furthest thing from the truth. As the years went by, Moore became more and more active. She started developing her leadership skills when she was selected to serve as song leader for her local club. With the encouragement of her local club leader, she participated in the county fair and attended 4-H camp.
“At the fair I entered the Best-All-Around contest, which was my first attempt at public speaking,” Moore said. “I was very nervous and blew my interview; however, I learned to just take a deep breath and do my best.”
Fast forward 10 years and Moore continues to do her best. Her hard work and determination paid off recently when she was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame, the highest award bestowed upon an Oklahoma 4-H Club member. She received this award at the Honor Night Assembly during the 97th State 4-H Roundup that took place recently on the Oklahoma State University campus.
Over the course of her 10-year 4-H career, Moore became more and more active in all levels of 4-H and continued to develop her leadership and public speaking skills. In fact, 4-H has played such an important role in her life, she had to give credit to the organization in her 8th grade valedictorian speech.
Some of her favorite 4-H activities center around Character Critters, Character Counts and Health Rocks. She has reached more than 30,000 youth with these programs.
“The first year of Character Critters, six of my fellow 4-H members and I traveled to local elementary schools to teach Pre-K and kindergarten students about personal character,” she said. “I was nervous because I hadn’t taught young children in a workshop, but at the end of the workshop, the kids were able answer the questions we asked them.”
Something else she’s learned during her time in 4-H is to never give up. It took three tries to be selected as a State 4-H Ambassador, but she realizes everything she wants is worth working hard to achieve.
Moore’s leadership skills have come in handy in numerous situations in 4-H, including being elected to serve as the Southeast District representative on the State 4-H Leadership Council. The following year she was selected as State 4-H secretary, and she just completed her term as president of the State 4-H Leadership Council.
“This was one of my biggest goals and I’m so grateful for all the opportunities this position has offered,” she said.
She has had many opportunities to hone her leadership skills in 4-H, including serving as president of her local club for five years, chairperson of the Character Critters program for five years and two years as Pittsburg County 4-H Ambassador advisor. In addition, Moore has been inducted into the Pittsburg County 4-H Hall of Fame.
“It’s important to set goals. I set a goal for myself to hold an office on every level of leadership, which I have achieved,” she said. “I’ve also established a Collegiate 4-H Program at Northeastern State University. It’s still in the beginning phases, but there are 28 members so far and I continue to work on increasing enrollment.”
Moore said 4-H has taught her so much, to step out of her comfort zone, do her very best and grow through her failures.
“I know what I’ve learned in 4-H will help me continue to reach my full potential and take me many great places, wherever that may be,” she said. “The 4-H mottos is ‘To Make the Best Better,’ and I believe 4-H has given me the tools to take what I’ve learned and will make we successful in whatever I do.”
Moore is a student at NSU and the daughter of Billy and Sheryl Moore.
Story by Trisha Gedon