Resolving and Dreaming

— Written By and last updated by Penny McCartney

By: Shea Ann DeJarnette

Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent

N. C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center

Did you know almost half of Americans make a New Years Resolution each year? Of that only half (or a quarter of all Americans) actually stick with the resolution to fulfill it. If we apply those statistics to Robeson County residents, that would mean of the approximately 135,500 people living here about 67,750 will make a New Year’s resolution this year. Of those 33,875 residents will fulfill that resolution.

According to the University of Scraton, which has done a study on the top New Year’s resolutions (yes, there is a study on everything now), the number one resolution has to do with loosing weight. I am sure this is no shocker to anyone. As a matter of fact, of the top ten resolutions four of them have to do with becoming healthier. Of course, there are things like falling in love, being organized, and having more fun on the list but it was number eight that caught my eye. Number eight said “Help others in their dreams.”  Why did it catch my eye? For two reasons: the first is that it is the only resolution that is not about yourself, it focuses on others; the second is that I am in the business of helping people imagine dreams and set goals to achieve those dreams. My biggest frustration with that is by myself I can only reach so many and I am always looking for more volunteers to help make dreams come true.

What I mean by dreams is often focused on youth. Specifically, in 4-H we work with youth between the ages of 5 – 19. Currently, with more than 150 adult volunteers we have reached more than 6,000 youth in this county alone in 2012. Imagine what we could do with more volunteers. The really great thing about 4-H is although we work with youth, we help them determine their dreams and find ways to make them come true and its not just the youth who benefit.

Often our volunteers who go through trainings and have the opportunity to explore the world with our young people find themselves making new dreams and being able to achieve them. For years, we have been saying 4-H is more than cows and cooking, maybe we should say 4-H is where your dreams become reality no matter what your age.

You could be a part of this dream making team too. For your New Years resolution think about helping others in their dreams by becoming a 4-H volunteer. To do that you can call 910-671-3276 or come by our office at 455 Caton Road, and speak with myself or another member of our 4-H staff. We will offer you training and find a volunteer position that you feel comfortable in and will help you make dreams come true (you and the youth).

Can you imagine the impact in this county if a small number of the 33,875 folks who will fulfill their New Year’s resolutions choose to become volunteers? It would be more than dreams that would be fulfilled. As we say to our youth, the sky is the limit. No matter what your resolution may (or may not) be from our family to yours, have a healthy, safe, and profitable New Year!

For more information, please contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at or visit our website at