University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Oral History Recordings

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Mary Carlson

State 4-H Leader, 1968 - 2002

From 1968 to 2002, Mary Carlson lived and breathed the ideals of 4-H Positive Youth Development while employed at UVM Extension. From the beginning, Mary understood that 4-H was much more than showing dairy cattle or horses at state fairs, it was about building the citizens of tomorrow. More...

Mary also was convinced of the need for youth to participate in leadership activities, and that is why instead of planning Teen Congress herself, she let the teens take the lead. That is also why she encouraged a shy, 14-year-old boy to DJ at the biggest Teen event of the year, in spite of her own reservations. That young DJ, Derrick Cram, now owns and operates one of the largest DJ companies in New England. As Derrick noted, "I am successful today because Mary Carlson gave me a chance, taught me to work hard and believe in myself." He is just one of the thousands of young men and women Mary touched in her 34-year career with UVM Extension, and each one could tell a different story about how she helped them grow up to be successful adults....Less


I am successful today because Mary Carlson gave me a chance, taught me to work hard and believe in myself...