Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame

Karen Engelman

Baldwin County 4-H Volunteer

Inducted November 10, 2011

Karen Engelman was the 4-H Volunteer Leader for the Dolphin Home School 4-H Club from 2007 to 2011. According to Engelman, “parents like having one organization to which they can bring their children of all ages to enjoy and learn together.” Engelman also learned 4-H is more than cows, goats, and horses and that clubs can be about anything!

Under her leadership, the club has grown to more than 50 members with 30 families involved. Her motivation to become a 4-H leader comes from watching a timid, reluctant child begin experiencing something he or she had never done before and watch them become involved. To watch youth learn, plan and follow through to complete an activity is what inspired Engelman to lead for five years.

Projects under her direction have included creating a club-inspired quilt, Mystery Dinner Theater, and many community service projects, specifically with The Ronald McDonald House in Mobile. Engelman has also served as an adviser, a chaperone, a facilitator, and a judge at the state, regional and local levels.

Engelman credits her service in the U.S. Air Force for 4 ½ years on active duty and 5 years in the Air Force National Guard as helping her be a more effective 4-H volunteer leader. For her, it is exciting to watch 4-H’ers make friends within the club and other 4-H clubs across the state. Engelman, herself, has made friends in other club volunteers and with state 4-H leaders.

Under Engelman’s leadership, the Clean Through Archery 4-H Club was chartered. Several leaders received 4-H Shooting Sports training in the archery discipline and have since trained other parents to assist in the instruction of new members. Julie Cordova, archery club leader, says “Karen constantly amazes me by the amount of time she invests into our group. She always puts the kids first and never settles for anything less than wonderful for them. So many times I would have said ‘”that’s good enough,” but Karen always takes everything to the next level, always wanting the best for the kids. She truly loves them and loves seeing tl1em learn and grow and it shows in everything she does for them.

“I have learned so much about leadership by watching her. She is always thinking so far ahead for the group. Her heart is obviously in this and that’s what makes her such a successful 4-H leader! She has provided our family with so many opportunities through our 4-H club tl1at have really enriched our lives.”

Nominated by Cynthia Knowlton, Regional Extension Agent