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MSU student serves through Collegiate 4-H
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University graduate student Stedmond Ware has lived out the 4-H motto, “To make the best better,” from high school all the way to graduate school.
Ware said he joined 4-H during his freshman year of high school and won a variety of awards in photography contests and art exhibitions, but his most meaningful experiences involved his service with 4-H P.R.I.D.E., a group geared toward teaching youth about interpersonal relationships, diversity and teamwork.
Ware earned a Bronze Congressional Medal for his service in 4-H, an award he earned by completing 100 hours of community service and meeting several other goals.
When he entered college in 2008, Ware continued to seek service opportunities and joined MSU Collegiate 4-H Club.
“Collegiate 4-H is different from high school 4-H in that the focus is primarily on community service, youth development and leadership from a service-based perspective,” he said. “Instead of competing in contests, we devote most of our time to community events, campus interactions and the philanthropies that we support.”
Ware said he is currently on MSU Collegiate 4-H Club’s Relay for Life team and helps raise funds for cancer research and generates community support for the cause.
“We have received an awesome response from so many, and we recently raised $700 in five short hours at our rummage sale called ‘Rummage for a Cure,’” he said.
The team will continue to raise funds and awareness until the day of the relay on April 12, Ware said.
During his time with Collegiate 4-H, Ware has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Mississippi Volunteer Leaders Conference, 4-H Clover Buds and annual toy drives. He said the service project experiences have been an integral part of his time at MSU.
“There are far too many wonderful memories to single out any particular one, but I must say that the many experiences, people and learning ventures that I have encountered have been simply astonishing,” Ware said. “Collegiate 4-H has truly brought me much of the greatest joy I have ever known.”
MSU Collegiate 4-H Club’s adviser, John Long, said Ware is an invaluable member of Collegiate 4-H.
“He has been part of many of the events Collegiate 4-H has done, and most recently he led the most successful toy drive we have ever hosted,” Long said. “More than 600 toys were donated for Sally Kate Winters Family Service of West Point.”
Ware played a key role in helping the MSU Collegiate 4-H Club receive the 2013 Team Diversity Award from the President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities, Long said.
“Stedmond often incorporates Collegiate 4-H in many areas of his life that help benefit the club,” Long said. “He is always active, encouraging and willing to take on new projects with passion, determination and drive. The MSU Collegiate 4-H Club has been extremely successful, and a great deal of that is due to students like Stedmond.”
Ware said he plans to work in the counseling field and hopes to start his own counseling practice one day. He said he also intends to stay involved with 4-H.
“I want to help in whatever capacity I am needed, and if potential opportunities come about, I am more than open to them,” he said.