GREENVILLE — For Molly Hunt of Greenville, traveling to Washington D.C. representing 4-H was a unique and rewarding experience.
Hunt was the Darke County 4-H delegate chosen to attend Citizen Washington Focus (CWF), in Washington, D.C. in June.
Every summer, high school students from across the country travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in CWF, 4‑H’s leadership and citizenship program for high school students. CWF is an opportunity for 4‑H’ers to learn ways to become citizen leaders and make a difference in their communities. Hunt had completed an Ohio Achievement Records and was chosen for the trip, based on her active involvement in the 4-H program at the county, state and national level, according to 4-H Youth Development OSU Extension, Darke County County Extension Director, Extension Educator Rhonda Williams.
“Molly is an active member of the Ohio 4-H Health Heroes, and through this program she has traveled to Washington, D.C. two times for the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit,” Williams said. “She has embraced the opportunities that 4-H has to offer and as a result, she had the opportunity to experience many exciting trips and programs. Molly will also work as a student assistant during 4-H activities at the Ohio State Fair.”
Hunt left for Washington D.C. June 25 on an 8-hour bus ride, and returned July 1.
“It was a really neat opportunity,” Hunt said.
According to Hunt, touring was a big part of the trip. The group went to Mount Vernon and to all of the monuments. She said her favorite trip was to Capitol Hill, when she met Senator Rob Portman. She was chosen out of the Ohio Delegation to personally speak with him about Ohio 4-H and CWF. In addition, Hunt gave him an Ohio 4-H pin.
“He is my state’s senator,” Hunt said. “How many chances in a lifetime do you get to stand in front of the capitol and shake hands with your senator? Most people from Darke County don’t get to do that. He was really down to earth, very much for 4-H and very impressed with us all.”
Hunt said she was chosen out of all of the other delegates to speak with Senator Portman based on the opinion of the group’s tour guide.
“We were taking our bus ride from the National 4-H Conference Center and our tour guide was talking about why D.C. only has three electoral college votes. He was trying to think of what the amendment was, and I kindly informed him and he said, ‘How did you know that?’ He was very impressed. Kudos to my civics teacher for teaching me that.”
One of the purposes of the trip was for the delegates to develop an Ohio community action plan, Hunt said. Their group of five created an inner agricultural plan to be developed in Montgomery County, called the Miami Valley Agricultural Advocates. The plan is to start community gardens in low income schools in Dayton.
“The drug issue in Montgomery County is awful,” she said. “We want to find an activity for kids after school, instead of doing drugs and making bad choices. This program will give them some opportunity to learn about agriculture, because Montgomery County is not as big in agriculture as Darke and Preble. The plan also includes lessons about business, as they will sell what they produce in their garden at farmers markets, in Dayton. Hopefully in the next couple of months, we will have that kick – started. We are working right now with Congressman Warren Davidson (Eighth District) to jump start that.”
In addition, the group was split into committees to discuss and create bills. While Hunt learned a lot on the trip, she had a lot of fun. She purchased tube socks of her favorite president Thomas Jefferson, and wore them into the Library of Congress and to a dance; attended a dinner theater production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”; visited the Washington National Cathedral and “Twilight Tattoo”, an hour-long, live-action military pageant at Summerall Field.
Hunt said she found the trip reaffirming in her interest of working for the government in Washington, D.C. She sees herself working with natural resources and political science at either the Smithsonian Institute or for the U.S. Secretary of Interior. Hunt will attend The Ohio State University this fall to major in Geology with a double minor in Political Science and 4-H Youth Education. One of her more immediate goals it to get an internship in Washington D.C. next summer.