Proud. That is how our April Alum of the Month, Renae Drey, describes herself when talking about 4-H. Renae is a proud first generation 4-H member and volunteer. She was involved in County 4-H programs, State 4-H Council, State 4-H Conference, National 4-H Conference, and National 4-H Congress. “All of these experiences have given me the opportunities I could have never imagined possible,” Renae said.
Renae started 4-H to try new things because she always asked herself, “Why not?” At first, Renae took on many different projects but ended up narrowing down to four of her strongest areas, Citizenship, Leadership, Communications, and Consumer Management. She earned a State 4-H project award for three of her four project areas. In seventh grade, Renae completed her first citizenship project, by leading her 4-H club in making fleece blankets for a local nonprofit organization.
After that first project, Renae’s passion for leading was ignited. During her freshman year of high school, Renae started a Valentine’s Dinner in her community. The dinner was open to anyone wanting to support the community with the proceeds are split three ways: to help 4-H members fund trips, support for the club’s Relay for Life team in Sac County, and support for Renae’s 4-H club. Fast forward five years and the dinner has continued. It attracts close to two hundred people from all over the surrounding area.
Through 4-H, Renae has had opportunities to meet people from all over the United States and speak with our senators and representatives in Washington D.C. She enjoyed impacting 4-H on a county, state and national level.
“I do not have one favorite 4-H memory, but instead countless,” said Renae. Some of her favorite memories include decorating for the Valentine’s Dinner, many trips to state council, making cookies with her 4-H club leaders, and playing hide and seek in the Sac City Rec Center during Junior Lock-in hosted by county council. Renae remembers the adrenaline rush at the State 4-H Conference and the two national trips she was able to attend. She even met one of her best friends on the National 4-H Congress trip and then was able to go with her on the National 4-H Conference trip as well.
But most importantly, Renae will never forget the friends she made from her experiences with 4-H. “My 4-H experience was one of a kind and I cannot wait to volunteer in 4-H and hopefully pass down my love for 4-H to my children as well.” The Iowa 4-H Foundation sends their best wishes to Renae as she continues to follow her dreams!
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