Photo caption L-R: back Abram Austinson, Corbin Austin, Thomas Neal, next row: Jamirica Brown, Journey Austinson, Rachel Hayes, second row: Keenan Phillips, Laielae Smith, Abby Bennett. Front row: Kinsey Ward, Omarion Smart, Kristin Bennett
Decatur County 4-H’ers distinguished themselves at Rock Eagle on February 8-10, 2019. Twelve students from Decatur County joined with over 500 students to participate in the Southwest District Project Achievement competition in Eatonton. Junior/Senior Project Achievement is a challenging two-part competition, in which participants practice mastery in their field of interest through portfolio and presentation.
Representing Decatur County 4-H in the Junior division for 7th and 8th grade 4-H’ers were Kinsey Ward, Abram Austinson, Lailae Smith, Keenan Phillips, Jamirica Brown, Kristin Bennett, and Rachel Hayes. Senior (9th-12th grade) participants included Journey Austinson, Thomas Neal, Corbin Austin, Omarion Smart and Abby Bennett.
The 4-H Portfolio is an extensive written record that encompasses a complete calendar year of involvement, leadership, and service in a selected project area. This report includes a cover letter, a two-page information sheet highlighting their work and activities, and a two-page list of supporting material, including photos and other related information. The portfolio composes 40%-50% of the student’s total score in the competition. Also, by preparing a portfolio, young people learn the skills needed to complete college applications, scholarship applications, professional resumes and proposals.
Additionally, 4-H’ers participating in Project Achievement investigate a topic and prepare a demonstration or “illustrated talk” with posters and props. Junior demonstrations are 10 minutes, and Senior demonstrations are 12 minutes. Scores are based on memorization, fluidity, presentation skills, and knowledge of the subject when questioned by the judges.
In the Junior division, Kinsey Ward placed 1st in Performing Arts Other Instrumental, Abram Austinson won 1st in Outdoor Recreation, Lailae Smith received 2nd place in Workforce Preparation and Career Development. Jamirica Brown placed 3rd in the Better Breakfast category, Keenan Phillips was 1st and Kristin Bennett was 2nd place in the Sports-Team project and Rachel Hayes took 1st place honors in Veterinary Science. Among the Senior competitors (high school division), Corbin Austin received 1st place honors in Public Speaking and Thomas Neal placed 1st in Outdoor Recreation. Journey Austinson took second place in the Performing Arts Piano project and Abby Bennett placed 3rd in the Communications project. Corbin Austin and Thomas Neal will advance to the next level of competition at the Georgia 4-H State Congress in Atlanta this summer.
4-H Project Achievement, an annual competition for 4th – 12th grade students, is a cornerstone in the Georgia 4-H program. From the first Boys Corn Club sharing their crop to today’s presentation and portfolios on hundreds of projects, Project Achievement serves to showcase 4-H’ers work and success. The diligence and dedication of Decatur County’s 4-H students supports the 4-H motto, “Making the Best Better”. For more information about 4-H activities please contact the UGA Decatur County Extension Office at 248-3033.