By Tenisha Spencer
The Meridian Star
Hello, I am Tenisha Spencer and I am delighted to be the newest addition to the Lauderdale County Extension Service family as 4-H agent.
I am originally from Aliceville, Ala., and received my undergraduate degree in criminal justice/political science from the University of Alabama. I also hold a master's degree in public policy & administration (MPPA) from Mississippi State University.
Prior to joining the Extension staff, I was an instructor and taught in the areas of cultural diversity, university success, ethics, criminal justice and political science. I have actively worked in law enforcement and government, which have definitely prepared me to bring my expertise of helping others to Lauderdale County. I believe that working in such social disciplines has exposed me to much diversity, and has taught me the importance of cultural diversity as well.
I have a strong passion for helping others achieve their goals, especially our youth – which explains my interest in becoming a 4-H agent. As an agent, I work with individuals and help them to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills through experimental learning programs with a positive approach. Being an agent not only provides me the opportunity to work directly with youth here in Lauderdale County, but also to directly make a difference in their lives. It is my responsibility to make sure they have an equal opportunity at developing life skills useful for the rest of their lives. In addition, I will provide them the essential resources that will allow them to achieve their desired level of personal development.
With 4-H's motto “To make the best better” and slogan “Learn by doing,” I believe many opportunities are available to our area's youth. And with my passion to help others, I definitely feel that I can make a difference in Lauderdale County. However, I am going to need the help of everyone in Lauderdale County to make my work here in Lauderdale County a success. Simply said, let’s promote 4-H together. Together, we can make a difference!
First, I would like to encourage parents to involve their kids in 4-H by coming down to the Extension Office here in Meridian and enrolling them in our program.
Second, I would like parents to get involved by becoming a volunteer for a local 4-H club.
And third, I would like to see community members develop more community clubs here in the county. In an effort to develop more community clubs, I plan to reach out to various churches and other community organizations.
I look forward to an adventurous year and I invite the citizens of Lauderdale County to feel free to join me to assist our youth with the resources needed through experimental programs for them to become familiar with their personal interests, and at the same time discover their skills and abilities.
On a personal note, I am the mother of a 6-year-old boy, "KJ," who keeps me going. During my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors with him through play, as well as travel.
Again, I am delighted to work in Lauderdale County and I look forward to meeting each one of you. Don’t forget to come by our office – located on the fifth floor of the Courthouse Annex Building – and enroll in our 4-H program. Or, you can call me at (601) 482-9764.
And remember, we are always trying “To make the best better.”
• Tenisha Spencer is 4-H agent for the Lauderdale County Extension Service.