The first thing one notices about 4-H Ambassador Rachelle Jn Baptiste is that she loves to talk. As an ambassador she uses her communication skills to talk to students about the benefits of 4-H Club and encourages them to join.
Jn Baptiste said she considers herself friendly with an outgoing personality. “I have a talent for talking to people. That comes easy and natural,” Jn Baptiste explained.
Jn Baptiste said Jillian Webster, a 4-H advisor that led an afterschool program at Croixville Apartments, first noticed her communication skills 12 years ago when Jn Baptiste was only 6.
“The advisors noticed my personality and the talent I have for talking to people,” she said. “They encouraged me to join and helped me build my skills. In 4-H they show how to use and build on your skills.”
“If it wasn’t for 4-H, I wouldn’t be who I am, a girl with leadership skills,” Jn Baptiste admits. “The experiences I’ve had are great. And 4-H brings those experiences to you.”
She recalled her first memorable experience in 4-H Club and the thrill she got going up in the bucket of a fire truck. She said the turtle watches they went on at Sandy Point also stick in her mind.
“The opportunities that open up for kids are great,” she added. “Kids get to branch out and get to know the whole island better.”
Jn Baptiste volunteered as a personal tutor when she was in the fifth grade and said she had a great experience as a summer youth counselor when she was 16. She said she would never forget attending a 4-H convention in Washington, D.C., in 2013. She was chosen to represent the Virgin Islands because she had been active in programs in all divisions of 4-H. She is also president of the 4-H Ambassadors.
As ambassadors, high school students in grades ninth through 12th promote 4-H Club, advise younger members, plan and assist at events, and accept and follow through responsibilities. They learn to be good citizens and develop leadership skills, Jn. Baptiste said, adding that youth also make lasting friendships in 4-H. She said she would always be involved with 4-H Club in one way or another.
Jn Baptiste moved to St. Croix from St. Lucia when she was 3 years old. Her parents are Mary Jn Baptiste and Gregory Cyprain. The senior at St. Croix Educational Complex has been enrolled in advanced placement and honors classes in English, math, science and psychology.
Jn Baptist said part of her dream has always been to go to the University of the Virgin Islands. But she also wants to be an actress and said she would more than likely attend a university in New York City where theater arts are big and she has family.
But she loves St. Croix and said she will definitely return home after college.
“I can’t keep my talents to myself,” Jn Baptiste said. “I’ve got to share with the Virgin Islands. It’s my duty to give back.”