Daniel Johnson

2020 Amazing Kids - Clackamas Review
Age: 15
School: Summit Learning Center
Hometown: Sandy, Or
Why he is Amazing: Daniel is a whiz at 4-H showmanship, a youth leader who gives a voice to teens, and an active volunteer who creates positive change in his community.

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Daniel Johnson was a “bit shy” before joining Clackamas County 4-H eight years ago, and he credits the program with bringing him out of his shell. “It taught me about responsibility, time management and communication,” Daniel says. Showing everything from goats to pigeons to rabbits, at county and state fairs, has also helped build his confidence while introducing him to new friends across the state.

 “At Clackamas County’s first Cat Show, Daniel blew me away with his showmanship skills, even with animals he’d never worked with before,” says Kelly Redwine Clackamas County 4-H secretary. Daniel is also a Clackamas County 4-H Ambassador, an Oregon State 4-H Ambassador, and a Youth Representative for the Clackamas County Small Animal Advisory and the Clackamas County Livestock Association. According to his leaders, his community involvement has strengthened his leadership skills and brought a valuable youth perspective to the 4-H program. 

“He is not afraid to speak up, he states his ideas clearly, and people listen to him — both youth and adults,” says Wendy Hein, Clackamas County Extension, 4-H faculty. “He is also a role model to others and is admired by his peers.” As a 4-H Youth Ambassador, Daniel participates in many community service projects.

 “I am very passionate about the well-being of animals, so I continuously organize and facilitate many 4-H club meetings where we make tie blankets for the organization Wrapped in Love,” he says. 

These handmade blankets are donated to animal shelters, where they go home with adopted pets as a way of comforting them. Daniel’s love of animals extends to sharing his collection at petting zoos for at-risk kids, as well as local elementary schools and churches.

“I have brought sheep, goats and rabbits to these events, and I talk with the kids about the animals, 4-H and agriculture,” says Daniel. Daniel volunteers on Customer Appreciation Day at local feed stores in his hometown of Sandy, as well as the Kiwanis Club’s annual Cruise-In breakfast and food booth at the Sandy Mountain Festival. 

“By supporting these local businesses, I have developed strong bonds and friendships with many of the owners and employees,” says Daniel. “I have come to deeply appreciate the importance of community service and the impact it has on others.” Outside of 4-H, Daniel and his family volunteer annually at Faith Outfitters Trout Camp, a one-day outing on Father’s Day weekend for children without father figures in their lives. “I get to show the kids how to fish, shoot a B.B gun, and safely use a bow and arrow,” says Daniel. 

The day culminates with a picnic and motivational presentation sharing how the kids can grow into awesome adults and do great things. 

“All of the volunteers really enjoy talking to the kids and getting to know their story. That’s one of my favorite parts,” he adds. 

Daniel plans to continue participating in 4-H throughout high school before becoming a collegiate member and eventually an adult 4-H leader. “I believe that this program has helped me to be more outgoing in my community, and it has helped me to understand what it means to be a good role model and an even better leader,” says Daniel. “I have grown to be proud of the time and energy I have put into my club, my community, my country and my world.” 

Kimberly Jacobsen is a writer/videographer for Oregon State University Extension Service.