Meet the New Faces Joining Union County 4-H This Summer and Beyond

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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Union County 4-H is excited to welcome a great staff just in time for the Summer Fun program. Registration concludes on May 31st so don’t forget to register your child(ren) for a hands-on fun day camp hosted by yours truly. Leah Joyner is the new 4-H Program Assistant joining the Union County 4-H Team. Joyner’s focus will be on club relations, communications, and special interest projects. We are so thrilled to have her join our team.

This summer, we have three interns (Lindsey Bowers, Unique Perez, & Michaela Salem) plus an awesome group of teenagers serving as CITs (Counselors-in-Training). Now let’s take a moment to learn a little more about Leah and the interns.

Leah JoynerLeah Joyner, 4-H Program Assistant:

  • What did you study at Wingate University?
    I studied Communications at Wingate with a focus in Public Relations. Some of my favorite classes included those where we discussed cultures and marketing. On campus, I was involved in the Hooked on Helping Crocheting Club, Bulldogs Into Going Green (BIGG), and Leo Club (Community Service club).
  • What are you most looking forward to about working here?
    I’m so excited to start working here! As a 4-H alumna, I understand what it’s like to be a 4-Her and participate in all the club, county, district, and state events. I’m most looking forward to meeting the 4-H members in Union County and learn their passions and goals in life. With so many aspects of the 4-H program, I’m looking forward to exploring the different subjects that I am a little unfamiliar with like horses, robotics, and STEM programs.
  • What was your favorite summertime activity as a kid?
    I always loved participating in the different Stanly County 4-H Summer Blast (like Summer Fun) camps. Some of my favorites included Kids in the Kitchen and Sewing 101. When I became a teenager, I enjoyed attending 4-H Congress and being a Teen Volunteer with the Summer Blast camps.
  • Do you have any pets?
    I did have one dog, but we had to say goodbye to him in 2016. He was a Rat Terrier.

Lindsey BowersLindsey Bowers, Summer Intern:

  • What was your favorite summer activity as a kid?
    Probably our family summer beach trip. We always went to myrtle beach because we have relatives that live around there and we would always go to the beach during the day and then at night would either play “putt putt” or get ice cream in the evening and watch fireworks at night.
  • What are you studying at NC State?
    I’m majoring agriculture extension with minors in animal science and crop science. My family is die hard wolfpack fans. I knew I wanted to study agriculture and I knew that was the place to be because their ag program is phenomenal.
  • Are you involved in any extracurricular activities at school? Clubs or organizations on campus?
    I’m a member of Sigma Alpha which is a professional agricultural sorority and am president of the State College NWTF the National Wild Turkey Federation that promotes habitat conservation for wild turkeys. In the club, we recruit college students to join the NWTF hold fundraising events for the Federation.
  • What are you most looking forward to this summer?
    I’m looking forward to working with the kids this summer and just getting to see how extension really works as a whole. Basically, applying what I learn at school to this environment in Union County.
  • Do you have any pets?
    A year old yellow lab and a rescue dog.

Michaela Salem, Summer Intern:Michaela Salem

  • What do you study at UNCC?
    I major in Health Care Management with a double minor in Public Health and Biology. This is my third year being a resident adviser (RA) and it’s actually a lot of fun!
  • What was your favorite summer activity to do as a kid?
    Some good childhood memories happened when I went to Y camp in Maryland for a few years. We went on field trips and met new kids regularly. We went to a rock quarry, on picnics, a petting zoo,  which were all a lot of fun.
  • What are you most looking to this summer?
    I’m looking forward to meeting the kids and new people. Making connections in the community and within Cooperative Extension.
  • Do you have any pets?
    I have a cat named Beau and fish named Calvin.

Unique PerezUnique Perez, Summer Intern:

  • What do you like to study in school/ What other activities are you involved in at your high school?
    I love history! It’s fun to think about the parallels between the past and present and learning about how the brave people of the past helped give me the opportunities I have today. I am involved in a lot of theatre programs! I participate in at least four to six shows every school year as a stage manager or light designer.
  • What was your favorite summer activity to do as a kid?
    I’ve always loved washing my mom’s car on really hot summer days with my siblings but one day when I would stay inside I always had my nose in a book!
  • What are you most looking forward to this summer?
    I’m super excited to explore new responsibility and show people that I’m dependable and quick to think of something creative!
  • Do you have any pets?
    Yes, I have three cats! Their names are Nemo, Dory, and Darla. All finding Nemo characters.