How 4-H has Helped The South Dakota High School Miss Rodeo Queen
The 4-H Youth In Action Awards recognize students making a lasting impact in their communities. This year’s winner is Tashina Red Hawk, who got her start in 4-H at just seven years old.
“We were going to my first county 4-H show and a lady asked to borrow my horse because she knew what I had at the time. And I was honored so I was like, of course use my horse and after I see her barrel race, I just fell in love because it was my horse and this girl going super-fast around timing a little barrel. I absolutely loved it.”
Her love for rodeo grew into a passion for animals and a volunteer role at the local animal clinic on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
“it’s called the Wamakaskan Wawokiya Oti. That’s Lakota for ‘Helping Animals Center.’ What it is, is it’s a volunteer clinic that happens every other month. And what it is, is these doctors come in and volunteer their time and do procedures for free. And that’s huge for us because the rosebud reservation specifically suffers huge financial hardships. Sometimes it’s the determination whether you put food on the table or feed your pet. So just the fact that those doctors come and volunteer their time inspired me.”
She plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, but in the meantime, she will continue advocating in her youth in action role.
“As a Pillar Winner, we get so many events at civic engagements, and they connect us with a lot of 4-H leaders. So basically, in my future I’ll see a lot of zoom calls. They’ll see a lot of in person speaking and just a lot of areas to share my story represent my tribe and represent 4-H.”
And she encourages other young people to get involved.
“4H can really help build you to the person you want to be in any area. Like our four pillars, our agriculture, stem, healthy living, civic engagement. So, I just want all the youth listening to know that you can do whatever you want and that forage will help get you there. And that really sky’s the limit. Wherever you want to go. You can achieve it just with the help of and support of 4-H.”
Red Hawk is also currently serving her second term as South Dakota High School Miss Rodeo Queen.