WSN, Upton 4-H’ers team up on Yellow Tulip Project
Suzie Barrows is only in her sophomore year at Nipmuc Regional High School, but she can already see herself as a member of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s
By ROD LEE
Suzie Barrows is only in her sophomore year at Nipmuc Regional High School, but she can already see herself as a member of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Success Network (WSN) in the near future.
The seeds of this possibility have been planted through her involvement with the WSN’s Yellow Tulip Project for the past two years.
“I know of [the WSN] and the amazing work they do, so yes, I hope,” Ms. Barrows said on December 5th. “My career goal is to become an occupational therapist but whatever I end up doing it will be helping people in the community.”
Jeannie Hebert, Pat Hurton, Heather Elster, Alise Breton and others who have nurtured the growth of the Women’s Success Network would welcome the addition of Ms. Barrows and some of her fellow Upton Hoofbeats 4-H’ers to the organization.
Ms. Barrows’ mother, Karla Barrows, whose family operates Rock Hill Farm in Upton, said an interest in community service and mental health “is how we got hooked up with the Women’s Success Network.”
Suzie Barrows is prone to anxiety, her mother said, but this has not stopped her from engaging in all kinds of teenage activities, from traveling the country for 4-H events to clearing trails and performing with a mounted drill team; and with an involvement in drama.
Such undertakings have been “a real boost to her confidence, and the whole purpose of yellow tulips is to get rid of the anxiety,” her mother says.
The WSN’s Yellow Tulip Project has been a huge success. WSN members planted five hundred yellow tulips at the Millbury Town Common in October, in support of mental health awareness, according to Ms. Hurton.
Suzie has embraced being part of the initiative and has become “a yellow tulip ambassador” at her school, Ms. Hebert noted.
“We’re very proud of her!” Ms. Hebert said.
“We learned about the Yellow Tulips Project in October of 2021 with plantings done at the Whitin Community Center,” Suzie’s mom said.
More recently, working with several hundred bulbs provided to her by the WCC’s Ms. Elster, Suzie and fellow 4-Hers have been doing plantings at all four of the schools in her district.
Ms. Elster chairs the WSN’s Community Service subcommittee.
“I have been in 4-H almost since I was born,” Suzie said on December 5th. “My sister Elina was doing it and my mom was a leader.”
Earlier this year, Suzie Barrows won a public speaking contest in Kentucky at the 4-H Eastern Nationals. This was followed by a trip to Atlanta for 4-H’s National Congress, where, she says, “I got to meet people from all over the country, which was eye-opening.” She was mistress of ceremonies at the Atlanta function.
“Our club is really active,” Karla Barrows said, of the Upton Hoofbeats, a group that numbers more than a dozen girls. “Suzie won a Citizenship Award from Sen. Brewer. We have done a coat drive with Rep. Muradian.”
Aligning herself with the WSN’s Yellow Tulip Project is a natural fit for a busy young woman, Karla Barrows says of her daughter. Suzie is a straight-A student. She also takes night classes through the Blackstone Valley Education Hub.
Whatever vocation Suzie Barrows ends up pursuing, it is safe to say that yellow tulips will always be an important part of her life.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.