The University of Nebraska Extension Office in Seward gained a new member. On June 10, Jennifer Swerczek started her position as Extension assistant for 4-H.
Swerczek grew up in Ashland and got her bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She is currently working on a master’s degree in secondary science at UNL, as well.
Swerczek said she has always loved for the outdoors. She later discovered that she also loves teaching and working with children. She said she loves working as a 4-H educator to see kids grow and learn new skills.
“As soon as I graduated I just wanted to share the outdoors with kids, so I went right into teaching environmental education,” Swerczek said.
Swerczek said the main benefits of 4-H involvement are character and leadership development. She also said younger kids start learning how to build relationships with older kids. 4-H members have the opportunity to grow in many areas.
“The great thing about 4-H is you can teach about natural sciences like prairie and birds and wetlands, but then you can also teach physical sciences like robotics and coding and circuits. I just love that I can teach a variety of science topics,” Swerczek said.
Right now Swerczek is gearing up for the fair. She is responsible for coordinating shooting sports such as archery and air rifle. Swerczek will also judge 4-H projects and organize the 4-H food stand for families who will be spending a lot of time at the fair.
“Whether you live in town or the country 4-H is for everyone,” Swerczek said. “There’s just so many different interest areas or topic areas that kids can look into, so I encourage every family that has a child from 5 to 18 to look into it.”
Swerczek also teaches Seek and Discover, an informational program for new 4-H families.
Working with 4-H families, she said, is her favorite part of her job.