Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund opens doors to careers in Cooperative Extension

  • Published: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In 2019, Missouri 4-H lost a longtime friend, Victoria L. “Vicky” Miserez. For more than 30 years, Miserez served Boone County 4-H in many capacities, including sitting on the program’s board of trustees. 

Miserez’s husband, Bill Carter, established the Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund as a lasting testament to her love for 4-H. The fund finances the new Miserez-Carter 4-H Internship Program.

“The internship program was started with the hopes that the student would consider a future working in Cooperative Extension,” Carter said. “Vicky always led by example, and I know it was her hope that this program would encourage more counties to create opportunities for youth to engage in our agricultural communities, which are the backbone of our country and the world.”

“We are extremely grateful to Bill and Vicky for their generous donation,” said Christal Huber, a University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist in Boone County. “Through it, we were able to provide an excellent opportunity for college students to explore a career in 4-H youth development.”

In its inaugural year, the program attracted the perfect applicant: Justin Luster, a fourth-generation 4-H’er from Bunceton, Missouri. Luster has been involved with 4-H for 11 years, even joining the Missouri 4-H council and attending the national conference.

As an intern, Luster assisted with council meetings, Student Nutrition Advisory Council trainings and the Boone County Fair. His favorite part, however, was heading the planning process for the 4-H day camps.

“I always thought I wanted to work with kids or in the education system,” said Luster, a sophomore majoring in human services at Northwest Missouri State University. “I thought this internship was an amazing opportunity.”

The day camps had diverse offerings ranging from shooting sports to robotics. Luster led teams of teen counselors and helped them hone their own leadership skills.

One of the most rewarding experiences happens at the end of the internship program at the county fairs, Luster said. “It was really cool to see some of the campers’ projects at the fair, seeing what they were doing with the program and not just at camp.”

Interns who are degree-seeking MU students can receive up to three credit hours, depending on the area of study. Applications open in early December and close in late January. Contact Christal Huber at [email protected] to apply.

To contribute to the Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund, contact Missouri 4-H Foundation director Rachel Augustine at 573-884-7641 or [email protected].

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information on Missouri 4-H, visit 4h.missouri.edu.

About the Missouri 4-H Foundation

The Missouri 4-H Foundation is the private resource partner of the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. For more than 70 years, the foundation has secured and managed funds for Missouri 4-H, providing higher education scholarships, recognizing 4-H volunteers and supporting the work of MU Extension 4-H. Learn more at 4h.missouri.edu/foundation.

Photos available:

Justin Luster’s 4-H internship was supported by the Miserez-Carter 4-H Endowment Fund.

Justin Luster, left, with 2021 Boone County 4-H day campers.

Writer: Tripp Worley

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Rachel Augustine

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