Head, heart, hands, health: Senior holds 4-H state leadership position

Savannah Arenas

With over 6 million active participants, 4-H is one of the largest youth programs in the country and helps develop leadership, responsibility, and work ethic. Senior Hannah Czajkowski has been involved in the 4-H program since she was 8 years old and in the third grade. After years of participation and dedication to 4-H she has advanced to a statewide leadership role.

“As the District 9 Chairman, I help control the district program,” Hannah said. “I run various meetings and put together the officer team where we come together and promote 4-H and our district.”

As part of the Texas 4-H Council, Hannah has achieved the highest leadership role possible at the district level which the Brazos County Extension Agent, Flora Williams, recognizes as a positive for the entire county.

“Hannah’s role gives the Brazos County 4-H a voice at the table when major decisions are made regarding the 18 counties in District 9,” Williams said. “Serving on the State Council allows Hannah to help guide what happens in all 254 counties in Texas.”

The senior 4-H members last year inspired Hannah to get involved and encouraged her to reach out to younger 4-H members.

“I really enjoy giving back to my community and being there for the other 4-H members,” Hannah said. “Whenever I was little all of my senior 4-H members were there for me, all the people that were on district council and on state council as well. They were always supportive of what I was doing whenever I was a junior and I wanted to be that person for my junior 4-H’ers.”

Williams has worked with Hannah for many years and has watched her develop as a leader.

“Hannah has voluntarily served on many committees and held leadership positions that I advise,” Williams said. “Some positions include food show committee, food and nutrition project leader and instructor, food show judge, food show and food challenge coach, and Brazos County Council Officer.”

Of the many good memories Hannah associates with 4-H is working with a team stands out above the rest.

“The day that my food challenge team won nationals last October is one of my favorite memories,” Hannah said. “Three years of hard work and dedication really paid off to achieve the goal we set long before we were even a team.”

Not only has Hannah earned countless awards on the state and national levels, but she’s also learned about the values associated with 4-H which will stay with her forever.

“I think the number one thing 4-H has taught me is how to be myself and be confident in what I can do,” Hannah said. “4-H brought me out of my shell and helped me learn how to be a better person in my community and how to be more socially interactive because I have learned about the kind of impact that other people, who are close in age, can have.”

After she graduates, Hannah won’t just be walking away with her 4-H experiences, but she will leave a lasting impression on fellow members.

“Hannah has always been confident, and now she instills confidence in others,” Williams said, “Hannah will be missed when she graduates out of the Brazos County 4-H program.”

4-H has taught Hannah what it means to be a true leader and has pushed her to become an example to others.

“Leadership isn’t just an officer position or a title that you have, leadership is being someone that other people can look up to and somebody that you know you can always go to,” Hannah said. “Being a leader is one of the best things I’ve ever done in the 4-H program because I get to interact with so many different kids from so many different places and different age levels. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming thing to be able to be there for them.”