Michigan 4-H Healthy Living Spotlight: Julian Warren
Though Michigan 4-H’ers routinely pledge their health to better living, some members take this oath more seriously than others. Julian Warren, a Macomb County 4-H member, is one such member.
Though Michigan 4-H’ers routinely pledge their health to better living, some members take this oath more seriously than others. Julian Warren, a Macomb County 4-H member, is one such member. From leading and organizing community fitness camps to attending educational health conferences, Julian has utilized his 4-H experience to help him, and others in his community, lead a healthier lifestyle.
Julian’s experience with Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H began three years ago when a friend invited him to a Gleaners Food Drive that Macomb County 4-H organized in his community. After being surrounded by teenagers taking action in their community, he was inspired to join 4-H, and he went on to serve as president of the All About 4-H Club.
“Julian has always had such an optimistic attitude that makes him open to trying anything new,” said Lizz Duran, MSU Extension Macomb County 4-H program coordinator. “Embracing both urban and agricultural 4-H opportunities, Julian has been a true asset to the 4-H community in Macomb County.”
As he was gaining leadership skills through his club position, Julian also started working with others in his county to plan a summer day camp, 4-H Family, Fitness and Fun (F3). F3 was designed for youth in the area to come together and participate in activities related to healthy living. During 4-H F3, Julian connected with local youth and nutritionists as experts taught participants about making healthy eating choices and provided recipes that they could take home.
“4-H Family, Fitness and Fun had a lot of involvement and a great turnout at the event,” Julian said. “It is important to get people out there and more active, and 4-H F3 was a great way to accomplish this. Seeing everybody from houses down come by to have a good time is an impactful experience.”
Continuing to pursue his passion for healthy living, Julian became a 4-H Healthy Living Teen Ambassador. In this role, he went into community schools and taught youth about where food comes from and how they can make healthy living choices. Julian also attended the 4-H Healthy Living Camp at Michigan State University. During this event, he connected with experts and expanded his knowledge of making healthy choices that he then shared with his local community.
“After attending the 4-H Healthy Living Camp, I changed my entire diet because of what I learned from health experts about sugar and food contents that I wasn’t familiar with before,” Julian said. “The camp led me to stop drinking pop completely and educated me on how to make healthier living choices.”
Because of the large role that 4-H has played in helping Julian expand his knowledge about healthy living, he credits 4-H with helping him to be a healthier person.
“If 4-H wasn’t part of my life, I would be a very different person,” he said. “It has taught me so much about leadership, getting active and being a part of the community. There are a lot of opportunities in 4-H that have definitely impacted the person I am today.”
Julian’s outstanding experiences with 4-H are not unique to his county. Michigan 4-H offers many experiences to youth across the state, including many programs with a healthy living focus that support youth’s physical, social, intellectual and mental well-being. To learn more about Michigan 4-H programs, visit the 4-H website or contact your local MSU Extension office to connect with the 4-H program in your area.