4-H of Miami-Dade celebrates achievements of Rebekah Diaz

By Sonia Perez….

Rebekah Diaz was elected 4-H state vice president at the recent State Congress.

Rebekah Diaz, a graduating senior who is homeschooled, has achieved numerous accomplishments during her 11 years in the Miami-Dade 4-H Youth program.

Most recently, the Westchester resident was elected state vice president for 2010-11 and was one of only four 4-H members statewide to be chosen to attend the 4-H National Conference in Washington, DC.

One of Rebekah’s first experiences with the 4-H club was a public speaking competition where she was presenting her topic on key lime pie. Her nerves got the best of her and she wound up crying. Now, that same nervous girl has blossomed into a confident public speaker, receiving perfect scores at district events and winning two first-place trophies at state competitions.

Joining 4-H has afforded Rebekah many opportunities to learn life skills and get involved in the community. She has learned about computers, the environment, communication, dance, media arts, geography and leadership. 4-H also has served as a vehicle for participating in community service projects, including teaching elementary and middle school students about different subjects, conducting beach and coastal cleanups, visiting the elderly in nursing homes, teaching children at public libraries, working with underprivileged children, and planting for beach restoration and beautification.

Rebekah’s many leadership roles have included chairing county, district and state activities, such as State Congress, 4-H Day at the Capitol, and Head Lobbyist for the 4-H State Mock Legislature program. Through these leadership positions, she has coordinated events and activities for hundreds of 4-Hers throughout the State of Florida.

She also was instrumental in the challenging task of saving the Miami-Dade County 4-H program by undertaking letter-writing and phone-calling campaigns, meeting personally with commissioners and appearing before the Miami-Dade Commission on several occasions.

Miami-Dade 4-H leader Kathie Roberts says Rebekah is an exemplary 4-H member.

“Rebekah is a testament to what the 4-H program can do for the development of children in preparing them for the real world as well as shaping them into contributing members of society. While 4-H certainly created opportunities for Rebekah to succeed, she did all of the hard work that enabled her to achieve her goals,” Roberts said.

“Years from now, when I tell my children stories about my youth, I know that they will include the wonderful experiences that I had through 4-H,” Rebekah said. “I have made lifelong friends, met people from across the country, learned about different lifestyles, have been on many adventures, and learned innumerable skills. I hope one day that my children and grandchildren, too, will be able to say that they made a difference in their community and in the lives of others due to 4-H.”

Miami-Dade’s 4-H Club always is accepting new members and volunteers. To sign up, call 305-592-8044 or visit online at http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu for more information.

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