Genny Thompson is looking forward to working with local youths through Sampson County’s 4-H Club.
She recently joined Sampson County Cooperative Extension as a 4-H extension agent. Her first day was Wednesday.
“I feel excited and thrilled,” Thompson said. “It’s a blessing to be able to do something that your heart loves.”
During the year, some of her duties include working with several youth-based programs involving teenagers, substance abuse prevention and making healthy choices.
Prior to Sampson County, she worked with Duplin County’s Department of Social Services and as administrative assistant to the director and deputy director of Marine Corps Community Services at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.
The Maryland native grew up in the small town of historic Darlington.
“There are no stop lights,” Thompson said. “It’s that small.”
After graduating from high school, she briefly attended Baltimore County Community College before marriage and having a family. She later received her associate degree from Hartford Community College and later received a bachelor’s in management from the University of Phoenix.
Thompson believes there’s a lot of opportunities available in 4-H through associated groups focused on agriculture, crafts or animals.
“You can pursue your passion and it’s not something that’s forced upon you,” she said.
The participation comes with leadership and responsibility.
“I think that’s something that the kids in this generation need,” she said. “They need to learn responsibility and learn to persist when things get hard. I think 4-H can teach that.”
When Thompson is away from the office, she likes riding her horse, which is kept in the backyard. At home, she enjoys taking care of pets, reading and learning about European history. She made several trips overseas to countries such as Germany and Japan.
“I love to travel,” she said about some of her hobbies. “I love being outdoors.”
County Extension Director Eileen Coite is excited about Thompson’s arrival.
“I’m looking forward to her getting to know people in the community and spending time with our young people and parents,” Coite said.
Thompson and Coite added that the public is invited to contact the office for 4-H inquiries.
“Communication is a two-way street,” Coite said. “We need need to know what the needs are, so anyone who can share some needs and requests, we’re listening. We want to have that input.”
Thompson and other 4-H extension agents may be reached at 910-592-7161.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.