Tobin Smith

Daily Point of Light # 1076 Mar 19, 1998

Tobin Smith is an individual whose contributions to the Arlington, Virginia community are vast and far reaching. As a youngster in Michigan, he was an active participant in 4-H. Wanting to give back to the program that was there for him throughout his childhood years, he brought his commitment to 4-H to the young people of Arlington County.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is an organization, of which 4-H is a part, which provides practical education within Virginia communities, based upon the specific needs of each community. It is through this educational organization that Mr. Smith has volunteered his service to the community by chairing committees and boards, advocating for youth and families, by recruiting volunteers of all ages and by working with children one-on-one. It is through these efforts that he brings together the many diverse faces of the county.

Within the 4-H program, Mr. Smith has organized a club for immigrant children at one of Arlington's Bilingual Outreach Centers. He has developed and served as chairman for the Arlington 4-H council, recruited and trained Council members, raised scholarship funds for 4-H camps, instituted "4-H Day" at the County Fair and advocated for support of Arlington's 4-H Agent position. But the one 4-H program that he holds closest to his heart is Arlington's 4-H Fishing Club, which he developed, organized and still runs.

Arlington's 4-H Fishing Club, started in 1988, provides children with the opportunity to learn about fishing, nature and environmental conservation. It also provides a chance for the children to get out and experience nature first hand through weekend fishing trips and a yearly summer camp every June.

Mr. Smith's involvement with these children goes far beyond making sure that the program runs smoothly. He participates in all the activities and continues to be a mentor to the children that participate throughout their childhood and high school years, helping them and guiding them in any way needed. He has also taught many to follow in his footsteps; for many of the children go on to be volunteers.

Mr. Smith is a full-time legislative representative for MIT on Capitol Hill.