Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alumnus. Ohio 4-H alumni have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we feature Jerome Scott, Adventure Central 4-H alumnus and current financial consultant for PNC Bank.
Like most alumni, Jerome Scott got his start in 4-H at a young age. “My 4-H experience began as an 8-year-old, inner-city child at Adventure Central’s summer day camp program in Dayton,” Scott said. Adventure Central is a partnership between 4-H, OSU Extension, and Five Rivers MetroParks focused on positive youth development. After five years of day camp, Scott joined Adventure Central’s Job Experience and Training (JET) program.
“This is where the majority of my 4-H experience began,” Scott said. “JET allows teens at Adventure Central the opportunity to enter the workforce. We were offered training on how to conduct ourselves in interviews and team meetings, coaching on how to develop resumes, and were taught how to develop and obtain 21st-century skills, like leadership, technology, and problem-solving.”
His favorite 4-H memory was at the Ohio State Fair. “As a participant in this program, I was given the opportunity to compete in Workforce Preparation Day. This is a competition that involves mock interviews and visual displays that share what we learned throughout our summer. I loved the experience of competing and representing my county! This event is where I was introduced to the vastness of 4-H and gained my appreciation for the organization I had been a member of for so long, and when we were done, we got to experience the state fair!”
After Scott’s time in 4-H was over, his connection to 4-H didn’t end. “I spent 10 years in 4-H, and after I graduated from high school, I stayed involved through mentorship and volunteerism as well as serving on the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees while a student at Ohio State. Volunteerism is huge for me, and it was only fitting for me to give my time, knowledge, and resources back to the same place that raised me.”
His involvement at Adventure Central continued after his time at Ohio State, where he spent four years as a group leader and JET mentor. And his experience has come full circle: “Now I am the proud parent of an Adventure Central participant!”
4-H gave Scott a great passion for diversity and inclusion. “As a child growing up in Trotwood, my experience in 4-H was the first time I was put in a place in which no one looked, dressed, or acted like me, and I loved it! I loved the opportunity to experience other cultures, hear the perspectives of different people, and use those perspectives to unite us. The lessons I learned about diversity are lessons I still use to this day.”
Not only did 4-H help Scott see life in a different way, it taught him skills that he uses every day. “I am currently a financial consultant for PNC Bank. We were all taught basic principles of perseverance, community, leadership, and the skill of building positive relationships, that have assisted me in the success of my career.”
Scott shared his advice to 4-H youth. “Be open and never stop. Your experiences in 4-H are going to take you out of your comfort zone, and that can be extremely uncomfortable. Those uncomfortable moments are where I developed the skills that allowed me to succeed in all my future endeavors. I didn’t realize the value of these skills until years after my time in 4-H was over.”