Texas 4-Hers learn leadership, citizenship during trip to D.C.

Contact: Jana Barrett, 979-458-0910, jcbarrett@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Montza Williams, 903-834-6191, montza.williams@ag.tamu.edu

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twenty-four Texas 4-H members recently earned the opportunity to participate in the Texas 4-H Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., touring the capitol while learning about leadership, citizenship and community service.

“These young people were afforded this opportunity as recognition for producing a first-place 4-H record book on the state level in Texas,” said Jana Barrett, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H specialist, College Station. “4-H members document their project activities, leadership and service, then submit the record book for evaluation at the county level. From there, they go to district- and state-level competitions.”

Barrett said the Texas 4-H Youth Development program is administered by AgriLife Extension, an educational outreach agency of the Texas A&M University System.

“Record books are entered in one of 29 different 4-H project areas, including clothing and textiles, beef, rabbit, food and nutrition, science, engineering and technology,” she explained. “From the county evaluation, one book for each category advances to district competition and then on to state, where approximately 300 books are evaluated.”

Conference participants from throughout Texas met at Love Field in Dallas for an orientation and then flew as a group to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

Participants and their respective counties were: Kellie Tondre, Bexar; Grady McAlister, Castro; Kennedy Foster, Cherokee; Caitlynn Teel, Collin; Presley Wirebaugh, Comal; Katelyn McCormick, Cooke; Zane Wanjura, Colorado; Jack Detten, Deaf Smith; Erik Dietrich, Denton; Jay-P John, Dimmit; Faith Clark, Galveston; Kathleen Knesek, Gonzales; Emily Robinson and Adaline Utley, Hockley; Ray Edwards, Llano; Brantly Hoover, Midland; Kynzie Hardegree, Mitchell; Hale Ingram, Montgomery; Jayna Grove and Reagan Hoelscher, Nueces; William Whitaker, Travis; Hannah Chumchal, Wharton; Riley Elliott, Wilbarger; and Macie McCollum, Wise.

4-H participants at Ford’s Theater. 4-H members attending the  Texas 4-H Leadership Conference toured this and several other U.S. historical sites in D.C. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

While in the nation’s capital, the 4-H youth toured area landmarks, including L’Enfant Plaza, Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Ford’s Theatre historic site, Peterson House, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Supreme Court Building, the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, National Archives, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Kennedy Center.

Additional activities included watching a performance of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and dining at some of Washington’s best-known restaurants.

“The kids were amazed to see these historical sites, look at historical documents and learn more about the history of the U.S.,” said Dr. Montza Williams, AgriLife Extension 4-H youth development specialist, Overton, who was one of four adult chaperones accompanying the 4-H members.

“They were especially impressed with seeing the Capitol Building, Supreme Court Building and National Archives, as they got to see those places where the laws and policies affecting them as citizens are created,” Williams said. “They also got to learn about those leaders who have served and continue to serve as role models for leadership and good citizenship.”

Barrett said achieving a state-level first place record book is “quite an accomplishment, and the conference not only recognizes that accomplishment but also serves to challenge the youth to continue their leadership and citizenship experiences.”

She said the experience helped participants gain a greater appreciation of history.

“They were glad for the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the nation, to see how the federal government works and to learn about career opportunities in Washington, D.C.,” she said.




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