Andrea Mitchell, 17, of Findlay, Ohio, a junior at Findlay High School and a member of the Hancock County 4-H, creates and delivers free educational programs on an astonishing array of topics for children, teens and adults throughout Ohio. As a child, Andrea enjoyed many educational programs and activities provided by volunteers for children in her community, and she later realized that "without volunteers, I would have missed out on the experiences I value and cherish so deeply." Wanting to offer others the same opportunities she had been given, Andrea decided to create her own programs to "teach children about things outside of their everyday lives and inspire them to become involved in community service."
She prepared herself by taking a variety of leadership training courses, and then developed a presentation about her favorite 4-H activity: training assistance dogs for the disabled. Andrea received such a positive response that she set out to learn and teach other subjects, and began targeting adults as well as kids. Since then, she has prepared and presented programs on pioneers, canoe safety, line dancing, teen mentoring, citizenship, llamas, crafts and other topics at churches, schools, libraries, nursing homes, scout and 4-H events, and county and state fairs. Andrea now teaches more than 60 educational programs each year, and estimates that her activities have benefited more than 12,000 people over the past four years.