When 4-H’er Victoria Robey started Outer Banks Kettle Corn with her older sister back in 2008, she started small. The 9-year-old was so little she had to stand on a milk crate to reach the cash register.
At 19, she now juggles being the sole proprietor with the demands of college and the vestiges of a severe concussion she had several years ago.
4-H is one of North Carolina’s leading youth development programs, reaching 263,000 young people a year by engaging them in learn-by-doing projects. (Learn more at go.ncsu.edu/NC4H.) Through 4-H, Victoria received leadership and entrepreneurial training, plus cooking skills and the know-how to create a website and Facebook page for her business.
Running the Kitty Hawk-based business has enabled her to earn money, win awards, improve her math grades and support her community, Victoria says. Once she graduates from the two-year College of the Albemarle, she hopes to attend NC State to gain skills to grow her business into a career.
Her dream: a store where visiting families can see how she makes the kettle corn and other snacks.
While Victoria is proud to sell to local grocery stores and individuals, supporting events that bring people together for a good cause is her favorite part of the job – one that’s consistent with the 4-H pledge to put hands to service.
“I love getting to help out with fund-raising events where everything I make goes to somebody who needs it,” she says. “That’s the most rewarding thing.”
Robey has been especially generous when it comes to supporting 4-H events. It’s her way of giving back to an organization that has meant so much to her.
Have you heard about 4-H and Extension?
Coordinated by Extension at NC State and N.C. A&T State universities, 4-H is one of North Carolina’s leading youth development programs, reaching 263,000 young people a year by engaging them in learn-by-doing projects. Learn more at go.ncsu.edu/NC4H.