Effingham County 4-H’ers attended State Congress in Atlanta from July 19-22 and returned home with high honors. The 4-H State Congress brings students from all over Georgia together to compete in project achievement areas at the state level.
After a first place achievement at State Congress, a student is considered a Master 4-H’er. Mastering in a project area is the ultimate goal for all 4-H’ers competing in project achievement. Through Project Achievement, 4-H’ers gain public speaking skills, resume building skills and interview skills by presenting a portfolio of accomplishments and a demonstration based on their project area.
The 2011 State Congress was held at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta with the announcement of winners at the Crystal Pistol at Six Flags Over Georgia.
Danielle Paulk was named a Master 4-H’er in Performing Arts-Piano. The Performing Arts – Piano project is sponsored by Six Flags/White Water. She is the daughter of Schel and Terri Paulk of Guyton. Paulk’s road to becoming a Master 4-H’er includes being co-pianist at New Providence Baptist Church and teacher of nine piano students, as well as leader in 4-H and church groups. She has entertained at Farm Bureau meetings, Clyo Homemaker’s meetings, Holiday Classic, and Mission on the Move annual banquet, among others.
She also has performed for local nursing homes as well as monthly craft project donations. Paulk volunteered, organized and manned "4-H Loves the Buddy Walk" craft booth for the Low Country Down Syndrome Society’s annual Buddy Walk.
By becoming a Master 4-H’er, Paulk earned a trip to National Congress this fall. She is a 10th grader and member of the Effingham County 4-H Home School Program.
Amanda Starling, daughter of Skip Starling and Dr. Nathalie Starling of Sylvania, double Mastered with the Dean’s Award and Kitzinger Scholarship. Starling attended State Congress and competed in the Performing Arts-General project area. She just recently completed duties as the Georgia 4-H State Vice President, presiding over 156,000 4-H’ers.
Starling had the honor of carrying the 4-H flag at the opening ceremony at State Congress. Her 4-H career also included being a member of the prestigious Clovers and Company. She graduated from South Effingham High School.
Lauren Thompson, daughter of Mike and Laura Thompson of Rincon, was honored at State Congress. Lauren won the 4-H Georgia State Senior Hunt Seat Division at the State Horse Show in Perry. She was honored at State Congress as a Master 4-H’er.
She also won the Junior Hunt Seat Division two years ago. She won both titles with her horse, Timbuktoo. Her coach is Eleanor Ellis of Evermore Farm in Brooklet. She has been riding with Ellis for the past six years. Thompson is a junior at South Effingham High School.
Natalie Starling, daughter of Skip Starling and Dr. Nathalie Starling of Sylvania, attended State Congress. Natalie performed in the area of Public Speaking where her topic was the "Lost Art of Communication." She focused on the growing usage of texting rather than speaking in person to others. She is a member of the prestigious Clovers and Company and attends South Effingham High School.
Hillary Usher, daughter of Tim and Holly Usher of Clyo, attended State Congress. She competed in the project area of Performing Arts-Vocal. She was a member of the prestigious Clovers and Company. She also sang the national anthem at an Atlanta Braves game.
As a member of Clovers and Company, she performed at the Ag Expo in Moultrie and at the State Soil Conservation meeting. Usher graduated from Effingham County High School.
Attending State Congress with the 4-H’ers was Terri Paulk, 4-H Volunteer Leader. Bill Tyson, Effingham County Extension coordinator/ag agent, also attended the winners banquet at State Congress in Atlanta.
For more information about 4-H contact the Effingham County Extension Office at 754-8040.