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Hardin County 4-Hers “Accept the Challenge”

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By Bonnie Jolly

Hardin 4-H members Ashley Basham, Tasshia Evans and Amanda Stillwell “Accepted the Challenge” To Come Together as One, To Be Aware/Learn & Know, To Share and To Dare during the 2009 National 4-H Congress Nov. 28–Dec. 2 in Atlanta. Having first begun as an educational tour to the Union Stock Yards in Chicago during the International Livestock Exposition, for the past 86 years National 4-H Congress has helped to develop leaders of tomorrow.

The conference continues today based on the Cooperative Extension Service’s belief that young people can be significant partners in addressing the issues that face our community, country and world. Delegates from 46 states and two U.S. territories address these issues in seminars and discussion groups. This year participants received motivation to become successful, contributing members of society from such nationally recognized speakers as Miss America and well known “Chicken Soup for the Soul” author Dave Clark. They also engaged in community service projects such as Habitat for Humanity. With money raised from the 2007 conference, they were able to finance the construction of 4-H’s first Clover House, a Habitat for Humanity home in the Atlanta area.

Selection as a delegate to congress is one of the top accomplishments a young person can achieve in 4-H. Senior 4-Hers having completed at least the Bronze level of the 4-H Honors Program are given an opportunity to apply. Those who advance through the application process are then interviewed by a committee evaluating their individual 4-H project experiences, leadership and citizenship in addition to non-4-H activities, communication skills along with their knowledge of and ability to articulate contemporary, social, economic and political issues. Each year Kentucky sends approximately 25 delegates for this once in a lifetime opportunity allowing youth to network, meet new friends and enhance their leadership ability.

For more information on the Hardin County 4-H Program contact the Hardin County Extension Office at 765-4121.