From learning how to break out of his comfort zone to providing clean water for Santa Cruz citizens, David Brooks was driven to better himself and those around him. As a young child, Brooks raised livestock, chicken, and sheep on his family ranch and was always outdoors whether or not the weather permitted. As soon as he was old enough to join 4-H, he spent even more time outdoors, camping as a member, an All-Star, and a leader for over a decade. Together, his time spent on the farm and at camp sites inspired him to continue his appreciation for working outdoors. Currently, Brooks is a ranger for the Santa Cruz Water Department striving to provide clean water for area residents.
" . . . if you want something, you work towards it but nothing gets handed to you."
Growing up, Brooks found it a challenge in the beginning to meet other 4-H members and to this day, still finds it intimidating. However, he explains by going to events and meeting other people both with similar backgrounds and with entirely different upbringings is what made 4-H a special place for him to grow and overcome this challenge. Once he realized the people around him were not strangers, he developed a relationship and common ground on which to build friendships with others who were there for the same purpose.
He credits 4-H with teaching him that “if you want something, you work towards it but nothing gets handed to you.” He also explains how 4-H enables people like him “to learn the aspects of survival and making better for yourself while having a positive impact on those around you by knowing when to lead and knowing when to follow.” Brooks encourages people to expand their horizon by being outward, curious, and challenging themselves to do something they might not ordinarily do- they will find that it is quite an experience.