Interned at University of Illinois Extension, Unit 18, 4-H and Youth Programming Coordinator
Current Position: 4-H Youth Development Educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, and Williamson Counties (Unit 26); Past Position: 4-H Youth Development Educator for Purdue Extension (Decatur County)
Sara graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a master's degree in Agricultural Education. She currently serves Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph, and Williamson counties in southern Illinois as a 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator. Working as an Extension Educator for the University of Illinois Extension means no two days are the same. Her job description is diverse and variable as she provides leadership for the 4-H program within her unit as well as develops and delivers meaningful youth programming that aligns with state and local needs.
Sara describes her time at the University of Illinois as full of opportunities to practice what she was learning in the classroom. Whether it was outside organizational work or as a teaching assistant during grad school, she was able to polish those skills in communication, teamwork, and time management, which she still uses in her job today. She says being able to prioritize her time in and out of the office is crucial. Between meeting with coworkers and presenting various youth programs, practicing the skills she learned in Agricultural Education is common practice.
Through her organizational engagement and career preparation, the one thing she enjoys the most remains the same: the people. Growing up in a small town and moving to the University of Illinois was a great transition, but taking that chance afforded her the opportunity to meet so many people from across the state and nation. Sara continues her passion for people in working with the 4-H members, volunteers, families, and community partners within her unit.
The University of Illinois is set apart by its traditions shared with current students and thousands of alumni. She says, "This university is full of history and ground-breaking research and events, and it's great to be able to walk around campus and see all that history playing out in today's world. I loved getting to walk past the Morrow Plots on my way to class every day. Who says they got to do that?"