Victoria Jagoda recalls an old photograph when she was 13 years old. Dressed in casual clothes, she is pictured washing Anita, a baby Red Holstein cow, only about four or five months old. It was her first experience exhibiting a large animal for judging at the Santa Maria fairground.
Looking back, she realizes how competing with exhibit animals was completely different from playing a sport, as it is an individual pursuit where she had to take full responsibility for her animal. Her passion for competing with exhibit animals led her to her current role coaching and leading 4-H kids in Orange County 4-H, teaching them skills needed to deliver a quality product.
For Victoria, having the ability to express her ideas and show the passion behind them was a huge accomplishment. She believes that without her commitment of more than 10 years to 4-H, she would not have gained this ability so soon. 4-H helped her to be one step ahead of her peers, whether it was for running activities on campus or applying for college.
"Whether it’s leading now, or when I have kids, it will always be part of my life."
“4-H is forever going to be a part of me. I don’t see myself not being a part of 4H. Once I graduated from college, I needed to be a part of it again. Whether it’s leading now, or when I have kids, it will always be part of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Throughout her experience, she credits Carolyn Adam, her sheep leader, for inspiring her and pushing her in the direction she needed to go. She also credits Linda Greco, her community leader, for teaching her about the structure of leadership and how committees work, in fact, to this day, she uses the skills she picked up when running a committee or board.
As a Communications and Advertising graduate from California State University, Fullerton, Victoria currently works as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving at her campus. She pays tribute to her 4-H experience raising and selling animals which taught her the fundamentals of fundraising. And, similar to 4-H, where she gained networking skills, she now works to keep alumni engaged while continuing to expand her network today.