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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchives@ School: 4-H Provides a Path for Idrees Donaie

@ School: 4-H Provides a Path for Idrees Donaie

Narendra Balkaran, left, and Idrees Donaie, winners of VI Energy Office Kid Wind competition. (Photo by Don Buchanan.)Idrees Donaie beat his shyness when he was introduced to 4-H. He became a 4-H Ambassador when he was a freshman at St. Croix Educational Complex.

He’s now a freshman at the University of the Virgin Islands and using skills he learned as an ambassador, promoting and working to get the Collegiate 4-H club up and running at UVI.

“I went with a friend to find out what 4-H was about and I liked what I saw,” Donaie said. “ At 4-H people are warm and welcoming and build you up. When you express yourself they don’t shoot you down.” He said he learned communication skills and how to express himself and now he doesn’t have any problem talking to people. He even became the vice president of the club.

In 4-H, he said, kids make friends they can rely on and trust.

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As ambassadors high school students promote 4-H, advise younger members, plan and assist at events, and accept and follow through on responsibilities. They learn to be good citizens and develop leadership skills.

“They put kids in different roles, like leaders and volunteers, and offer a lot of worthwhile experiences,” Donaie said.

Sarah Dahl-Smith, 4-H extension agent at UVI, encouraged him to become involved.

“Idrees has been a tremendous asset since his becoming involved with the 4-H Teen Ambassador program in 2010,” Dahl-Smith said.

Smith said Idrees is working in collaboration with other alumni of the 4-H Teen Ambassador program to revitalize the Collegiate 4-H Club. In the meantime, he remains connected to 4-H programs, events and activities, Dahl-Smith added.

Idrees Donaie, left, and Che Smith teach kids how to make a healthy rainbow vegetable wrap.åçDonaie, born on St. Croix is the son of Fazal and Bibi Donaie. He said his father has been a big influence on him.

“Even if my father is real busy he’ll drop everything and help someone in need,” Donaie said. “ If I’m needed somewhere I make the time to help too. People know if I’m asked to help I’ll say yes.”

This spring, Donaie and Narendra Balkaran, another 4-H Ambassador, engineered a winning wind turbine as part of a territory-wide competition sponsored by the VI Energy Office. Prior to the competition, both young men gained valuable experience serving as mentors for that year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day experience, "Wired for Wind."

Donaie takes the promotion aspect of being a 4-H Ambassador seriously.

“Being involved with 4-H can help keep kids busy and out of trouble. Parents need to get behind their kids and encourage them to join. It’s a good outlet for those not involved in sports. And kids can make friends for life,” Donaie added. “I’m 100 percent behind 4-H.”

He is studying Information Systems and Technology at UVI and plans on going into the Air Force.

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