06/14/20: Over the last three months, NC 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) of Onslow and Carteret Counties have gone through their fair share of changes and difficulties. From professional and community standpoints, there have been many reasons to adapt. The families and staff of EYFP in Onslow and Carteret are practicing resilience and aiming to stay in good spirits amidst social distancing. Caregivers said that their children are exhausted with virtual homework online with their respective schools.
One of the Onslow County EYFP families recently visited a small farm in the Broad Creek Community. It was a great opportunity to get outside for a bit and enjoy the company of the farm animals. The youth and her caregiver enjoyed playing with and taking care of the miniature ponies and pot belly pigs on the farm. Afterwards, the youth exclaimed, “My experience with the miniature ponies is the highlight of my month!” It was a dream come true for this youth, because she was an animal lover and always wanted to take care of horses. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty and social distancing, this family was able to have a truly wonderful time at the farm and relieve some stress.
In Carteret County, Lee has been taking this time to strengthen connections with EYFP’s community partners. The current partners with the program include the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department, Carteret County Health Department, Carteret County Department of Social Services, Onslow County Health Department, and Sneads Ferry United Methodist Church in Onslow County. Maintaining communication and brainstorming ideas for the future once programming starts again has been very important. The area Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Stephanie Stevenson, Tamara Jones from the Carteret County Health Department, and a staff member from the Onslow County Health Department helped Lee with pictures for an EYFP collage. The collage featured pictures from every county in EYFP, giving an uplifting message to families. Lee looks forward to working more with these partners more in the future.
Meanwhile, EYFP in Lee County is keeping spirits high and striving to be resilient throughout the challenges still resulting from COVID-19. While they have established their “new normal” in their community, Lee County EYFP is still adapting and learning every day. Merriam-Webster defines resilient as “tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change,” and Lee County EYFP is doing all they can to exemplify resilience by providing support and resources to their families to help them stay empowered. The future is still uncertain, but the community of Lee County will continue to stay resilient together.