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Without maps, we all would be lost in life. We rely on road maps, key maps, and even Mapquest to find our way to various destinations. My 4-H career and personal life can be related to a the common Texas road map. I have traveled miles down highways, cruised the main streets, crossed many bridges, and even taken some rather exciting detours. I have ventured down numerous feeder streets, farmer market roads, parkways, expressways, avenues, and county roads. With each and every mile of this journey traveled, a long lasting memory has been created. Every curve, turn, bump, pothole, and detour in the roads along the way have changed me and made me into the person I am today.
A key is an essential component to any reliable map. The purpose of a key is to show direction. In my life, several aspects serve as a key and guide me in my direction. These include family, friends, and 4-H. Each have a profound influence on the decisions and actions I make on an everyday basis. Without these guiding symbols, I would be lost on the road of life.
My parents, Allen and Denise Stanton, serve as the basis to known infrastructure, and relate much to the highway system. Without their everlasting support, wisdom, and advice, getting from one destination to the other would have been impossible.
My younger siblings, Leslie, Grant, and Andrew, are by far the exiting detours that I have taken down this path. From the numerous hours spent in the barn preparing for a cattle show to a messy kitchen in which all four of us were attempting to prepare for the food show at the same time, a dull moment never existed when they were involved. This journey most definitely would not be the same if I did not have these guys along for the wild ride.
My 4-H leaders, Mrs. Pam and Mrs. Susan, complete all the feeder roads and side streets of my map. Without them I could not get from place to place nor experience all that I have. They have enabled me to be the best that I can be, while also teaching me that giving back to others in the community is equally important.
My personal 4-H experiences symbolize the bridges I have crossed over this exciting venture. Just as bridges are useful in linking two land masses that are separated by a body of water, my 4-H experiences serve as a link or bridge that connects every aspect of who I am today. Respect, dignity, honesty, and dedication are all attributes that I possess due to my participation in the 4-H program.
Greg Anderson once said, “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” I truly have enjoyed each and every aspect in my journey through high school and the 4-H program. It has prepared me for the next road trip in my life, receiving my college education. The transition may be a little rocky, but I assure you that I will work hard to reach my goals.
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