4-H is a community of young
people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.
We are pleased to welcome another new member to the State 4-H staff. Karolyn Bolay will be working with the 4-H Foundation as development associate. I have asked Karolyn to provide a brief bio about herself to help you get to know her better.
Hello, everyone! My name is Karolyn Bolay, and I am the new development associate for the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work with the Oklahoma 4-H program and Extension educators through this capacity.
Growing up in Perry, Okla., I was raised in a family that was incredibly involved in the 4-H program. My grandfather was an Extension Director and an Agriculture Educator for many years, while my mother and aunts were all active members. In fact, my mother always said two parts of the 4-H program were not options: speeches and record books. So, you could say I was destined to be an active member of the 4-H program from the beginning!
While in the 4-H program, I started small with project areas like wildlife and small animal. As I continued to grow in the program, these project areas quickly developed into leadership, citizenship and public speaking. As my passion for 4-H and serving others grew, I had the opportunity to serve as a Northwest District officer and a State 4-H Ambassador. I was also given the chance to travel to Denver Western Roundup, Kansas City Global Conference, Citizen Washington Focus in Washington, D.C., and National Congress in Atlanta, to represent Oklahoma 4-H with my peers. While all of these trips were fun and memorable, I can now see how these experiences taught me a multitude of life skills and made me the person I am today.
When my 4-H career started to come to a close, I began to look forward and realized Oklahoma State University was the place for me to further my education. I received a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications with minors in agricultural leadership and agricultural economics. Upon graduation, I worked in the communications field writing agricultural news for a radio network. When I learned of the position in the 4-H Foundation, I jumped at the chance to work with 4-H again.
I am excited about the challenges and experiences that I will discover in my work through the 4-H Foundation and with the Oklahoma 4-H program. With a 4-H background that can be traced back generations in my family, I am thrilled to work on leaving that legacy for those generations to come.
As I get started on this task, I gladly welcome any suggestions on potential donors, thoughts on fund development, or any unique ideas on how to show the positive impact that Oklahoma 4-H can have on youth. I am also planning on making contact or visiting you all as soon as possible to learn more about your programs and the needs within your counties.
Again, if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me and I will be happy to talk with you! I am looking forward to meeting with each of you as we work together to continue the legacy of the 4-H program for the future youth of Oklahoma.