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4-H volunteer devotes 50 years to youth progress
CORINTH -- Marcia Ann Glisson believes in the power of youth.
That’s why she has spent more than 50 years as an Alcorn County 4-H volunteer. And she has no plans to give it up anytime soon.
“It’s just something that is in my blood,” said Glisson, who currently serves as a member of the Alcorn County 4-H Advisory Council. “I was in 4-H, and all four of my children were in 4-H.”
Glisson served as a club leader for a few years when her children were young but now devotes her time to the advisory council. As an advisory council member, Glisson coordinates fundraising events, serves as the 4-H liaison for the West Corinth Community Homemakers Club and helps rally support for 4-H throughout the community. She also serves as a judge for various contests and helps shape the state’s 4-H curriculum.
“Ms. Glisson is a wonderful supporter and ambassador for our program here in the county,” said Tammy Parker, 4-H agent with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service in Alcorn County. “Her understanding of the program as a member, club leader, parent and advisory member is very valuable to 4-H. She brings great experience to the table, and that is so important in gaining the support of the community.”
Glisson, a retired teacher and medical librarian, had many opportunities through the years to serve her community but always chose to serve in 4-H. 4-H is the youth development program of the MSU Extension Service.
“I believe in 4-H because I’ve seen the impact it has on children,” Glisson said. “4-H gives kids the opportunity to be a step ahead of others because of the opportunities 4-H’ers are given to lead. When I judge school book fairs or science fairs, I can always tell which children are in 4-H because they communicate better.”
After 50 years of volunteer service, she has a unique perspective on the impact 4-H makes.
“I’ve kept up with most of the kids who were in my club, and they’ve all done quite well. The program areas they studied in 4-H led a lot of them to the fields they are in now,” Glisson said. “One of my daughters is an interior designer and the other studied fashion. Some of the other 4-H’ers are nurses and social workers.”
About 12 years ago, Glisson helped found a scholarship for Alcorn County senior 4-H’ers.
“We award up to eight $250 scholarships per year from this fund,” Parker said. “On average, we award $1,000 each year.”
Harvey Gordon, Extension 4-H volunteer development specialist, said Glisson has made a difference in the lives of many young people.
“Without individuals like Ms. Glisson, it would be impossible for youth to reach their full potential,” Gordon said.
National 4-H Volunteer Week, held April 21-27, recognizes the efforts of adult 4-H volunteers, such as Glisson.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of 4-H youth development programs,” Gordon said. “Without the volunteers, it would be impossible for us to provide the wide range of life skills training we offer.”
Individuals interested in becoming 4-H volunteers should check with the local Extension office for more information.