Skip to content

Boyle’s Robyn Jackson named winner of 2023 Community Spirit Award

Jackson commended for volunteer efforts in 4-H programs across county
Left to right: Coun. Patrick Ferguson, Coun. Barb Smith, Robyn Jackson, mayor Colin Derko, Coun. Shelby Kiteley, and Coun. Mike Antal pose for a photo after announcing the winner of the 2023 Boyle Community Spirit award at the Feb. 7 council meeting. Jackson was nominated by Terryl Turner, and commended for her efforts in helping lead 4-H clubs in Boyle, Athabasca, and Colinton.

BOYLE — The Village of Boyle recognized the passion and efforts of one of its own this February when long-time resident and local 4-H leader Robyn Jackson was presented with the 2023 Community Spirit Award. 

During the Feb. 7 meeting, Mayor Colin Derko and fellow councillors presented Jackson with a memento of the award and acknowledged her contributions to the community. 

Jackson, who grew up in Boyle and moved back to the area in 2015, said the email from village admin notifying her of the award was unexpected but not unwelcome. 

“I was shocked, and humbled, and I had no idea. It was a nice surprise, definitely,” said Jackson.

“Being recognized for this definitely means a lot to me, but when I do these things, I don’t expect people to give me praise for it. I love my community, and I just want to see it grow, and helping the kids is definitely one of the biggest reasons why I do this,” she said. 

Jackson is currently the general leader for the Boyle 4-H Beef Club, a position she’s held for seven years. “I organize meetings and I organize events for the kids, and volunteer a lot of my time, which I don’t mind, to help them grow as leaders and give them the knowledge that I received over the years being a 4-H member,” she said. 

For the last five years, she has also overseen four clubs in the wider Athabasca County area as the president for the District 4-H council for four different clubs: the Athabasca Beef Club, the Colinton 4-H Multi Club, Thunderin’ Hooves Multi Club, as well as Boyle. 

“4-H has been a part of my life for a really long time, and I don’t want to see it disappear in our area. It’s a great program for the kids, and that’s why I put so much of my time into it,” she said. 

“Volunteering is definitely very rewarding for me — seeing what the kids gain from it, building self-confidence and learning new things, and coming out of their shells and having fun, too.” 

Jackson said her focus as local leader and district president is on bringing more opportunities to the 4-H community, aside from the well-known beef program. “There’s so many more projects that are available in the 4-H world, and I didn’t really know about them when I was in 4-H.” 

In addition to her leadership duties, she’s taken up the project leader torch for other programming options like foods and sowing to increase membership and participation. Jackson said she’s always looking for further opportunities for club members, such as grooming workshops and education days. 

While she said the years of the pandemic left their mark on the programs in the area, her reward is seeing the success of the young members on the other side of difficulty. 

“Through COVID, it was very hard. It was a struggle for the kids, because we had to do everything virtually, we weren’t allowed to meet. I could tell it took a toll on the kids,” she said. 

“Seeing them persevere through that to get to where we are today and just seeing them become better kids after all of that really warms my heart. These kids are like family to me,” said Jackson, speaking through tears.
Lexi Freehill,

About the Author: Lexi Freehill

Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks