Christyn Sells, an Escambia County 4-H volunteer and 4-H alumna, was inducted into the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame March 19 at the Alabama 4-H and Youth Development Center in Columbiana. She was one of 24 inductees honored during special ceremonies at the Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center. Sells was nominated by Regional Extension 4-H Agent Cynthia Knowlton.
The Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a significant effect on the 4-H Youth Development program, its members and leaders. The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., and Alabama 4-H honors, remembers and pays tribute to those who influenced the lives of Alabama youth by their commitment "To Make the Best Better."
Occasionally, one meets someone who really has a passion for 4-H work and Christyn Sells more than meets that qualification. The Poarch Creek 4-H Club is unique because the children are unique. They have a much different cultural experience than most Alabama youth because of their heritage.
Sells has been the 4-H volunteer leader for more than 5 years. The club meets twice a month, and there are approximately 35 members. Nutrition education is a vital part of the program because the after-school program feeds the youth a nightly meal. She uses Chef 4-H to help teach the 4-H'ers the keys to good nutrition and lets them have fun cooking and baking while learning.
"I am motivated by young people sharing their experiences and learning new things. It is priceless for me to see them grow and evolve into who they will become," states Sells. "4-H has really allowed me to do this and be a part of the lives of this next generation."
Sells was introduced to 4-H when she was in the fifth grade by her mother. She won first place in public speaking. That win got her started. Her goal is to expose her club members to any positive youth education program and 4-H fills this goal.
Projects include cooking and baking, gardening, learning about chickens and horses, and arts and crafts. The members participate in 4-H contests, go to 4-H Summer Camp, and take field trips to 4-H AU football and basketball days. They also attend and participate in the State 4-H Horse Show by entering exhibits in the passive education classes.
Sells focuses on educating the youth about giving back to the community. They participate in activities to raise funds for groups including the Tractor Supply Company/4-H Partnership, the Escambia County Humane Society, Share Our Strength, and the Great American Bake Sale.
Sandra Hiebert, education executive director with Poarch Band of Creek Indians, says, "Christyn is remarkable. I have known her 10 years now, and she has always had a heart for children. We joke that she should have been born during the pioneer days because she loves the art of actually making a home. If she was able, I have no doubt she would be on 100 acres somewhere growing her own food, raising chickens, cows, goats, etc. and children! She is a true role model in every sense of the word, and I am very proud of her efforts on behalf of the Tribe. In my opinion, Christyn is 4-H personified."
Presenting the award to Sells is Lamar Nichols, Extension assistant director for 4-H and Youth Development.
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