By Jaine Treadwell
||Casey East is the president of the Troy University Collegiate 4-H Club which she started when she was a freshman in 2005. The club has about 20 members and is one of four collegiate 4-H clubs in the state.
Some kids grow up with a silver spoon in their mouths.
Casey East of Troy grew up with a four-leaf clover stuck behind her ear.
Casey laughed at the thought of growing up in a patch of clover, but that’s exactly what she did.
"4-H has been one of the greatest things in my life," she said. "It has opened so many doors for me and given me so many opportunities I would never have had otherwise. Maybe most importantly, it has taught me how to handle responsibility. I’m not afraid of responsibility, I welcome it."
And, responsibility will be job-one for Casey in the coming months.
She was elected president of the Southern Region of National Collegiate 4-H and the chair of the National Collegiate 4-H National Action Board (NAB) at the National Collegiate 4-H Conference in Denver Feb. 22-25.
Casey is a member of the Troy University Collegiate 4-H Club where she is a junior. She was secretary of the Southern Region last year but had no plans to seek office at the national conference.
"I wasn’t planning on running for an office, but I was honored to be nominated and elected," she said.
The 16 presidents of the four at-large and smaller regions serve on the NAB and one is elected to chair the board.
Casey was not seeking that leadership position but, again, she was nominated and elected.
"There will be a lot of responsibility associated with both positions but it’s a responsibility I gladly accept along with the opportunities that come with it," Casey said.
"Much of the business will be handled through conference calls within the Southern Region and among the other regions. There are 45 national organizations in National Collegiate 4-H so I’ll be really busy with all we have going on in the Southern Region and working with the other regions."
And then there are the added responsibilities and opportunities of the chairmanship.
"As the chair of NAB, I’ll be making trips to Phoenix, Washington D.C. and Atlanta and a three-day conference in Minneapolis, Minn.," Casey said. "I’ll be the collegiate liaison to the National 4-H Council and will be in Washington, D.C. to talk about legislation affecting the council.
"To keep up with it all will be a real juggling act but it will be interesting and exciting. Collegiate 4-H is so widely represented — Colorado, Maryland, South Dakota — all over the country. It’s going to be very rewarding to work with so many different people. I’m looking forward to it all."
Casey served in various leadership capacities in the Pike County 4-H clubs.
She competed on the national level in the Egg Cookery competition and the Avian Bowl.
She was a member of the State 4-H Council and a head counselor at the Alabama 4-H Center’s summer program.
She represented Pike County at the National 4-H Conference, the Washington Citizenship Focus and the National 4-H Congress. She was one of eight representatives from the nation elected to the design team to plan a National 4-H Congress.
Jaine Treadwell is a freelance writer from Brundidge.