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Bright Future: Vidalia senior enjoys 4-H leadership opportunities

Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia High School senior Xavier Bell has participated in the 4-H club since fourth grade and was recently selected to attend the 2013 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.
Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia High School senior Xavier Bell has participated in the 4-H club since fourth grade and was recently selected to attend the 2013 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.

VIDALIA — Xavier Bell has been making the best better through 4-H since he was in the fourth grade.

Years later, the Vidalia High School senior is a member of the organization’s state-wide executive board, the northeast regional board that manages 12 parishes and will be traveling to Atlanta in November for the 2013 National 4-H Congress.

“4-H has been a great club to be in because you get to meet new people and have fun while learning about new things,” Bell said. “We use our head, heart, hands and health to better the community, our country and our world, while also bettering ourselves.”

Bell, 17, was one of four Louisiana students selected to travel to Atlanta after being selected as a state winner for a project he turned in detailing his previous experiences in 4-H and outlining projects for future students.

Part of Bell’s project included a brief history of his time with the organization and some of the things he enjoys most about 4-H.

“For the past three years, most of my time has been devoted to 4-H,” Bell said. “The experiences have allowed me to expand my leadership skills through all of the activates and events that I have been a part of on the local, parish, region and state level.”

Bell said his favorite part of 4-H is being a role model and mentor to younger students.

Last year, Bell attended a 4-H meeting at Vidalia Upper Elementary and spoke to more than 100 students about the organization.

“I stressed to them the experiences they could get by attending 4-H camp, the friends I had made through attending and, most of all, how much fun it was,” Bell said. “This year, our enrollment for camp doubled, so I think our influence on the younger students is much more than we think.”

The organization, Bell said, has also given him the opportunity to meet a variety of students his age and make connections around the state.

“I’ve been able to go out and meet new and different people, while improving my leadership and communication skills,” Bell said. “I think it’s made me a much better person overall.”

Apart from his 4-H involvement, Bell is also the drum major for the school’s marching band and involved with PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

After he graduates from VHS, Bell hopes to attend Louisiana State University to study music education and child development.

“My goal is to come back here, be a 4-H agent and be a band director,” Bell said. “I’d like to come back to where I started from.

“I feel as though this town has done a lot for me, so I want to give back to it.”

Bell is the son of Tyberia Bell and the late Alvin Bell Sr. of Vidalia.

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