Stephanie Freier is a program assistant for CSU Extension, a division of the Office of Engagement 4-H Youth Development. She has worked as a State Classified employee at Colorado State University for about two and half years. Freier primarily supports the director of 4-H Youth Development, Jean Glowacki, in addition to the state office team.
“I try to act as much as an air traffic controller – to take in widespread information and narrow it down to where it needs to be concentrated,” she explained.
Like so many at CSU during this pandemic year, the office has experienced a shift in how they operate individually, as a team, and through their communications. Last March, they immediately implemented more virtual resources for youth, Colorado 4-H @ Home, on their website at colorado4h.org. They communicate these new virtual activities through social media channels via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“Change and adaptation is crucial,” Freier said. “Luckily, we have access to great technology and support to continue in a productive way. A bonus to this transition has been getting to be with my three dogs, who now get to work by my side every day.”
4-H an amazing part of CSU
When asked about the most interesting thing she has learned about CSU while working here, Freier revealed that she didn’t realize 4-H was a component of CSU or Extension until she applied for the position.
“I did not realize how amazing 4-H is,” she said. “Growing up, I simply thought it was a part of our county and state fair and strictly dealt with farm animals. Our mission is to give all kids equal access to opportunity by providing mentors, learning opportunities, and a sense of belonging.”
Freier explained that 4-H is a diverse youth development program, which provides experiences in which young people learn by doing hands-on projects in areas including health, science, agriculture, and citizenship, adding that the 4-H youth are incredibly impressive.
“They have many traits, skills, and qualities I can say with certainty I did not possess at their age,” she said.
According to Freier, the coolest part of the program that she has been involved with was helping to coordinate statewide conference participation for 4-H youth. As part of the planning for the conference, she was happy to have the opportunity to read applications from Colorado 4-H participants who wanted a chance to attend, in addition to assisting with usual back-end tasks like arranging transportation.
In addition to the state conference, Freier’s office sends a limited group of 4 H youth, between ages 15 and 19, to participate in the National 4 H Conference, where delegates work together to prepare briefings on important topics to present to federal officials in Washington, D.C. The 4-H youth also engage in personal development experiences that increase their knowledge, resources, and skills while discussing topics affecting youth and 4-H programming nationwide.
“We provide these amazing opportunities for youth, but even more than that, they put in the hard work and truly earn that opportunity,” Freier said. “I am looking forward to being able to do this again!”
On a personal note, the Classified Personnel Council asked Freier a couple of fun questions to get to know her better, such as who would she like to swap places with for a day. Her answer? “Of course, I would want to be Elizabeth Bennett/Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. The romance. The story. Who wouldn’t want to be filthy rich during that time period with a hunk like Darcy?”
Another entertaining question: If she had to eat one meal every day for the rest of her life, what would it be?
“I am motivated by food and it took me less than a second to think of an answer for this. Tacos.”
Classified Personnel Council: ‘A Day in the Life’
“A Day in the Life” is a feature introducing the campus to the stories of State Classified colleagues to get to know and recognize their diverse responsibilities and duties.
To recommend a State Classified individual or group to feature in a future “Day in the Life,” visit cpc.colostate.edu/day-in-the-life. Follow the CPC on Facebook at facebook.com/ColoradoStateUniversityCPC.