A youth volunteer, 13-year-old Conner Quintero demonstrates what it means to be a pacesetter in his group.
Quintero is an lively teenager who devotes his time tosports, teachers and the 4-H Youth Growth Program. A four-year member of Garber 4-H Membership, Quintero is concerned in lots of features of 4-H, together with public talking, well being and health, and civic engagement.
By his 4-H civic engagement venture space, Quintero volunteers with 4RKids, a nonprofit group in Enid that gives help to youth and adults with disabilities.
At a younger age, Quintero developed a ardour for working with people with particular wants. His mother was an elementary faculty particular training instructor, and Quintero loved tagging alongside and interacting with the children in her class, he stated.
Quintero additionally has a relative who has particular wants, and he first realized about 4RKids when he participated within the annual Stroll 4RKids together with his member of the family. When he realized he may function 4RKids as a youth volunteer, Quintero stated he jumped on the alternative.
“After I realized I may volunteer with 4RKids, I used to be like in fact I’m going to do this,” Quintero stated.
Regardless of his age, his demeanor caught the eye of Tricia Mitchell, govt director of 4RKids.
“Conner is so assured, confident and useful,” Mitchell stated, “Since he has began serving to at our occasions, we simply have cherished having him as a part of our staff.”
As a youth volunteer for 4RKids, Quintero assists with providing sensory-friendly actions and offering a enjoyable, secure atmosphere for kids and adults.
Mitchell stated Quintero is devoted to the mission of 4RKids, and he or she has no hesitation letting him assist with and lead occasions for the group.
“He’s well mannered, courteous and respectful,” Mitchell stated. “I’d belief him simply as a lot as I’d any grownup volunteer with working with these people.”
Connie Sturgeon-Hart, who serves on the board of administrators for 4RKids, stated youth volunteers like Quintero are very important to the group.
“Youth volunteers work together with our purchasers in a means that present them they’ll be handled similar to everyone else, and that’s so essential for them,” Sturgeon-Hart stated.
Quintero stated serving to with day camps, Enid’s Evening to Shine and the annual Easter egg hunt are a few of his favourite 4RKids actions.
“Simply spending time with them actually makes my day and my life means happier,” he stated. “My objective is to ensure they’ve a secure place to go and to really feel included.”
Quintero stated collaborating in 4-H has outfitted him with public talking and management expertise that develop to different areas in his life. Honing on his pure management talents has given Quintero the initiative to take cost at 4RKids day camps and different occasions.
Sturgeon-Hart stated Quintero’s willpower to enhance the lives of others is obvious as he seeks extra alternatives to develop the attain of 4RKids.
“He sees a activity in entrance of him and simply goes for it — whether or not it’s on the sports activities subject or with 4RKids,” Sturgeon-Hart stated. “He’s at all times at our occasions participating with our purchasers and serving to them to raised themselves.”
Quintero stated volunteering with 4RKids has taught him the worth of constructing one’s group a greater place.
“Serving to my group is a giant precedence for me, and that’s additionally what 4RKids does,” Quintero stated. “By volunteering with 4RKids, I’ve realized to present again to my group as a complete, not simply with 4RKids.”
Along with volunteering with 4RKids, Quintero has plans to begin a brand new 4-H membership known as the FUN Membership, which can concentrate on participating youth in health, diet and private growth alternatives. He stated he hopes to encourage different 4-H members to participate in group service tasks, particularly with 4RKids.
Quintero’s dedication to 4RKids has earned him the consideration of being the 2020 recipient of the Oklahoma 4-H Catalyst for Change Award. This award, developed by the State 4-H Ambassadors, is designed to acknowledge the constructive influence a 4-H member has made of their group.
Along with his award, Quintero will obtain a $500 money prize. Half of the award he can hold for himself and the opposite $250 will go towards a venture of his alternative.