Public speaking is known to be the number one fear of adults in America. The thought of standing in front of a group of people who are staring and listening to every word is somewhat disconcerting. But there are 16 young people from Burke County who have faced the butterflies and succeeded in public speaking.
4-H Project Achievement gives students the opportunity to present a demonstration on the topic of their choice. There are 64 project categories to choose from – from sports to poultry science and performing arts to marine ecology – there really is something for every interest! Students choose a topic, write a speech, create a demonstration using posters and props to help illustrate their speech and then present their demonstrations to a panel of judges where they are judged against other students in the same project category. An additional part of the contest requires that students also put together a portfolio showing their activities in their project area, leadership and community service involvement, and other 4-H activities throughout the year. These portfolios are similar to creating a resume and give students good experience at resume-writing and recordkeeping.
During the weekend of Jan. 27-29, 16 4-H’ers traveled to Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton to compete in Project Achievement. Junior competition is for seveth and eighth grade 4-H’ers. This year’s participants were Mary Helen Coble (7th grade, FCA) – Performing Arts Instrumental – 5th; Christine Eberly (7th grade, homeschool) – Fashion Revue – 1st .
The Senior competition is for 9th – 12th grade 4-H’ers and winners advance to the state contest. This year’s Burke County seniors were: Ali Bennett (10th grade, Jenkins Co High School) – Entomology – 2nd ; Morgan Brantley (10th grade, homeschool) – Performing Arts General; Kendall Brown (9th grade, EBA) – Sports; Tripp Carter (9th grade, Davidson Fine Arts) – Performing Arts General; Kendall Eberly (10th grade, EBA) – Plant and Soil Science – 3rd ; Lelan Eberly (12th grade, homeschool) – Performing Arts Piano – 1st ; Hannah Eckerman (9th grade, homeschool) – Photography – 3rd ; Garry Fulcher (9th grade, BCHS) – Performing Arts Instrumental; Perla Gomez (11th grade, BCHS) – International – 2nd ; David Hosier (10th grade, homeschool) – Target Sports; Chasity Lord (9th grade, BCHS) – Performing Arts General; Zoey McGee (12th grade, BCHS) – Performing Arts General; Emily Miller (10th grade, EBA) – Poultry and Egg Science – 3rd ; Taylor Mizelle (12th grade, EBA) – Wildlife and Marine Science – 2nd . Lelan Eberly will advance to the state contest in July.
Project Achievement is a positive experience for all students. Each student who attended, regardless of placing, learns selfconfidence, initiative, responsibility and time management skills that will serve them well in any career path they pursue.
In addition to giving their speeches, we proudly had 5 Burke County 4-H’ers run for a spot on District Junior and Senior Board. After a weekend of campaigning, Tripp Carter was selected as a Southeast District Senior Board Member. He will serve a one-year term and have duties at several 4-H events over the year while also helping plan next year’s Project Achievement weekend.
For questions or information about any Extension and 4-H Programs, contact the Burke County Extension Office at 706-554- 2119 or visit http:// ugaextension.org/county-offices/ burke.