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Effingham 4-Hers hold annual awards ceremony
Emily Jarriel, senior 4-Her, receives The Green Clover, sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau. The Green Clover is the most prestigious 4-H award. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham 4-H’ers and their families, recently gathered at the Effingham College and Career Academy to participate in an awards reception honoring their achievements.

The 4-H program works closely with the Effingham County Board of Education to provide school age children in the fourth-12th grade, as well as various homeschool groups, an additional resource that allows them to gain leadership skills, self-confidence, pride, and a sense of responsibility.

The 4-H Leadership Team was comprised of eight 4-H members: Alex Parrish, president, Becca Velasquez, vice president, and six senior board members, Grace Kieffer, Marci Delcampo, Rose Moss, Chance Denney, Anna Paulk, and Abby Henry, all of whom served as the master of ceremonies, with Velasquez as the guest speaker.

The “Friend of 4-H Award” was given to Jim Simmons, who has gone above and beyond as a volunteer and was recognized for his invaluable support.

Since 1987, the Clyo Homemakers Club has designed quilts of a different theme for the Effingham County 4-H Educational Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is granted to a graduating senior 4-H member with outstanding 4-H and Leadership achievements. This year, the selected design was the “Jacob’s Ladder” pattern and the recipient of the award went to Parrish, who was also the recipient of the 2015 Leadership Scholarship.

Sophie Usher, Master 4-H’er, was the 2015 recipient of the State 4-H Scholarship award. Each year thousands of dollars in State 4-H scholarships are awarded to only 35 exceptional 4-H members statewide. A portfolio of 4-H activities and achievements is completed and submitted to the State 4-H office and reviewed by a panel of judges. More than 100 applicants submit portfolios each year for this prestigious scholarship award.

The most coveted and prestigious 4-H County Award, The Green Clover, sponsored by the Effingham County Farm Bureau is given to the senior and junior 4-H’er that possesses a strong dedication, service and overall 4-H involvement within the program. The recipients for the 2015 award were Kieffer, senior board member, and Emily Jarriel, junior 4-H’er.

The members that had the highest grade point average (GPA) for their grade level included: Reese Powell, sixth grade; Emily Rowland seventh grade; Jack Hendrix eighth grade; Abby Henry, ninth grade; Morgan, 10th grade, Kieffer, 11th grade, and Parrish, 12th grade.
4-H’ers have the opportunity to become Georgia 4-H Certified Teen Leaders. Teen Leaders helps to serve and mentor younger 4-H’ers in a variety of ways. Those completing the Georgia 4-H Certified Teen Leader Training in 2015 were: Paulk, Moss and Morgan. Also participating in the 2015 Southern Region 4-H Teen Leadership Conference were 4-H’ers: Delcampo, Kieffer, Moss and Velasquez.

The Junior-Senior division of District Project Achievement, also called DPA in the 4-H world, is one of the core programs in Georgia 4-H. Its participants must prepare a resume-like document called a portfolio consisting of a culmination of a year’s worth of hard work in their specific project area. 4-H’ers from all over the Southeast District compete in over 40 project areas in hopes of a first place achievement with the possibility of advancing to State 4-H Congress, which is held in Atlanta in July.

Those who advance to State 4-H Congress compete with other project winners from all four districts with the ultimate goal of becoming a state project winner and Master 4-H’er.

The 2015 Junior and Senior DPA competitors were: Delcampo, Henry, Kieffer, Morgan, Moss, Parrish, Velasquez, Delcampo, Denney, Henry, Kieffer, Kham Bell, Logan McDonald, Noah McDonald, Gabe Palmberg, Parrish, Sheridan Strickland, Brianna Tredway, Hannah Weitman and Bailee Wilson. Those advancing to State 4-H Congress were Morgan, Moss, Parrish and Velasquez. In preparation for the Junior Senior District Project Achievement, Billy Dasher of Dasher’s Insurance sponsored a dress rehearsal competition, as well as awarded the participants with a monetary gift.

Cloverleaf 4-H’ers, those in fourth-sixth grades, are also eligible to participate in District Project Achievement. At this age level, they are responsible for preparing a 4-6 minute demonstration with visuals in a project area of their choice. The 4-H members who participated in the 2015 Cloverleaf DPA competition were: Kennedy Bargeron, Kate Britt, Layla Cone, Grace Dicksey, Sydney Freymuth, Weatherly Gordon, Tate Hendrix, Madison Hill, Madison Hodge, Joshua Kleckausas, Shayne Labonte, Kearstin Lambright, Laura Grace Molina, Macy Morgan, Skylar Morgan, Raegan Mosely, April Moss, Diya Patel, Ben Powell, Reese Powell, Cheyenne Ryan, Jordyn Serrano, Shayne Strickland, Lauren Usher, Amelia Uzupan, Carlyn Waldhour, Ellie Watson, Angeleena Whiddon, Emma Wilharm and Evan Zeigler.

The Effingham County 4-H Project SAFE shotgun teams include both modified trap and trap and skeet disciplines. 4-H members in seventh-12th grades are eligible to participate. The shotgun season begins in February and ends in May, with the state competition at Rock Eagle for modified trap and at Forest City Gun Club in Savannah for trap and skeet. Those receiving high honors at district and state competitions were: Kieffer, Park Gaskin, Harrison Joyner, Douglas Williams and Logan Wise.

The Effingham County 4-H Project SAFE Archery team started three years ago and has tripled in size. 4-H members in fourth-12th grades are eligible to participate in both indoor and outdoor archery competitions. Zoe Shuman was the second place state winner in the novice individual competition at the state outdoor archery competition held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.

Effingham 4-H had two teams, led by Sandra Hendrix, participate in the Georgia National Fair Challenge Bowl Competition. The quiz bowl style competition is for 4-H members in grades fourth-12th. The competition fosters teamwork, communication, and encouragement. This year both teams made it into the top six of a very tough competition. The participants were: Delcampo, Kieffer, Morgan, Henry, Velasquez, Jack Hendrix, Tate Hendrix, Stone Kessler and Lauren Usher.

In 2015, Effingham 4-H had its first team to participate in the National Consumers League educational competition, LIFESMARTS. Through this competition, 4-H’ers learned information in the areas of technology; health and safety; environment; personal finance, and consumer rights. Those who participated in the competition were: Kieffer, Morgan, Moss, and Velasquez.

During the Effingham County Fair week each October, 4-H’ers in fourth-12th grade are eligible to participate in the Effingham County 4-H Mini Booth Exhibit competition, where exhibitors showcase their facts and visuals on a topic of the their choice; this year more than 50 4-H’ers displayed booths.

Cloverleaf 4-H’er Nathaniel Hayes won first place and Grand Champion with his display on the Georgia Southern University Eagles football team. Emilie Rowland was awarded first place and grand champion in the junior division with a booth display on “Miniature Schnauzers” and Morgan first place and grand champion in the senior division with a booth display on “Effingham County Methodist Campground.”

At the close of the 4-H awards ceremony, recognition was given to the 2016 graduating seniors: Parrish, Trent Dickerson, Harrison Joyner and Graeme Young.