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New Master 4-H’ers announced at Georgia 4-H State Congress

ATHENS, Ga. (August 1, 2021) – Georgia 4-H hosted the annual State 4-H Congress, a weeklong competition and celebration in Atlanta on July 20-23, 2021. This year represented the 78th annual State Congress, as last year was canceled due to COVID-19 and replaced with a virtual competition and announcement of winners.

During the 2021 State Congress, almost 250 youth competed at the state level of Georgia 4-H’s Project Achievement contest. The event also honored state special event winners, scholarship winners, Leadership in Action winners, newly elected Georgia 4-H Board of Directors and donors. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the Georgia 4-H youth for their project work, leadership, and service.

Youth competing in the state-level Senior Project Achievement presented 10- to 12-minute presentations in their various project areas. Participants also conducted an interview with judges to discuss their yearlong project and review their portfolio. Overall, one individual in each of the 50 project categories was selected as the winner and received Master 4-H’er status during the announcement of winners on July 21. Shazia Alam of Sumter County was the winner in the Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts Project.

Annually, almost 79,000 youth participate in Georgia 4-H Project Achievement and develop skills in leadership, public speaking, record keeping, creativity and other life skills.

Georgia 4-H State Congress also recognized Special Events and Leadership in Action winners, along with the 2021-2022 Georgia 4-H Board of Directors. Hinano Tomlinson was recently elected by Georgia 4-H’ers to serve on the Georgia 4-H Board of Directors as the representative for the Southwest District. Sumter County 4-H’er, Morgan Kitchens was recognized for her work in the Master Horseman project. The Leadership in Action program is designed to recognize the work of 4-H’ers as leaders in their communities. These 4-H’ers have identified issues or needs in their community and have developed and implemented ways to make a difference. Eight finalists were selected to compete on the state level. The 2021 4-H Leadership in Action winners who received Master 4-H’er status are Juliette McKinley of Paulding County, who provided youth art programs designed to address the emotional toil from the pandemic, and Shazia Alam of Sumter County, who conducted numerous activities promoting healthy lifestyles including diet, exercise, access to healthy foods, and gardening.

The success of these events is a result of efforts that have been invested and skills that have been sharpened in 4-H youth for years. The growth of these young people is the direct result of positive mentorships with local Extension faculty, staff and volunteers and the support of the local community, parents, teachers and mentors.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 190,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Sumter Extension office at 229-924-4476.