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Two women holding a plaque and certificate.
Christina Collins, left, was recognized as the Oklahoma 4-H Volunteer of the Year during the 2023 4-H Parent/Volunteer Leader Conference at Oklahoma State University. Presenting the award is Missy Quintero, president of the 4-H Volunteer Board. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Collins recognized as 4-H Volunteer Leader of the Year

Friday, June 30, 2023

Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Sr. Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 |

Christina Collins is a self-proclaimed “sandwich generation 4-H’er,” with her father an active club member in his youth, her own 10-year 4-H career and her two children currently reaping the benefits of membership in the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program.

Collins’s leadership and dedication to the program were recognized in June when she was named the Oklahoma 4-H Volunteer of the Year during the 4-H Parent/Volunteer Leader Conference at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. She was also recognized as the Southeast District and the Pottawatomie County 4-H Volunteer of the Year.

“I joined 4-H when I was 9 years old and spent 10 years doing all sorts of things in 4-H,” Collins said. “I was interested in sewing, fashions and fabrics, citizenship and leadership. I went on trips to Denver, Nashville and Washington, D.C. When I had kids, it was automatic that they’d be involved in 4-H, too.”   

When her daughter, Emma, turned 9 years old, Collins enrolled her in the Dale 4-H Club in Pottawatomie County. Collins later signed on as a volunteer. She then enrolled her son, Andrew, and she has been a constant presence in Pottawatomie County 4-H activities for the past eight years. After her daughter’s leader stepped down a few years ago, Collins became a certified volunteer. Her husband, Brad, serves as co-leader of the club, and they’re often found tag-teaming 4-H activities.

Despite the family’s busy schedules, Collins said she sees the value of 4-H and knows the benefits youth gain through membership.

“I use the skills I learned in 4-H in both my personal and professional life. It’s a lot of work to juggle family, career and all of our other activities, but it’s worth it,” Collins said. “I know what 4-H does for club members, and I want to stay involved and make these opportunities available to youth.”

Kacie Jasper, Pottawatomie County 4-H educator, said Collins is an excellent team player and collaborator.

“Christina has been instrumental in helping Pottawatomie County 4-H develop programs and initiatives to better serve our community,” Jasper said. “She has a unique ability to connect with youth and their families to create a positive, inclusive and supportive learning environment. Her passion is contagious, and she has inspired many youth to reach their full potential.”

Morely Griffith, a member of the Dale 4-H Club, said Collins goes above and beyond for her club members.

“She’s consistently inspiring the youth of our community and innovating youth development practices to reach more kids,” Griffith said. “She is a shining example of a volunteer who knows how to guide kids with positive direction and a loving spirit.”

Collins said she enjoys seeing positive changes in her club members over time. One of her success stories regards a club member who always participated but was quiet.

“Last year he decided to apply for 4-H camp counselor, so I took him to camp counselor training,” she said. “It has been so fun to see him become so active and involved and truly come out of his shell. I love having a front-row seat and watching these club members grow.”

Collins said she wants people to realize that 4-H has a place for everyone.

“No matter what a child’s interests are, there’s a way to plug that into a 4-H project,” she said. “4-H is so much more than showing animals. 4-H offers public speaking, STEM, citizenship and so much more. It truly is a youth organization that teaches kids how to be good citizens and leave the world a better place.”

She said being recognized with this state award was very humbling.

“I don’t do this for recognition, but if I stop and think about it, it helps me realize I’m making a difference – and that feels good,” Collins said.

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