Extra-Ordinary Caldwell County 4-H Youth

— Written By Darlene Berry and last updated by

The past six months as the new Caldwell Co. 4-H and Family Consumer Sciences Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension has been a joy and a privilege. It seems fitting that as I approach the conclusion of my first six months, Caldwell 4-H Youth Development is hosting its annual achievement night. The timing could not be more perfect; while my schedule is bubbling with planning for the year, its time to set aside a night and honor the youth that provide me with this great opportunity.

In preparation for Achievement Night I have been reviewing the project record books from a number of talented youth. These books are wonderful summaries and illustrations of what they learned and experienced. The subject areas ranged from science/technology and personal development  to family/consumer science and communication arts. I can assure you there are motivated engaged youth involved in Caldwell Co. 4-H.

Some youth choose to participate in personal achievement planning which includes their project record books, community service, club and program participation and civic engagement. Some youth choose achievement planning as a higher level of involvement and this sets them apart from their peers. This year we honored youth from age 6 to 13 years old. The following members achievement plans were recognized by their age and level of involvement: Lincoln Clark, Moranna Faith Deal, Lauren Greene, and Allyson Rawls received the Cloverbud Achievement Award; Dawson Clark, Megan Clark, and Savannah Travis received the Green Clover Award; Kierston Walser received the Bronze Award and Heather Lewis received the Silver Award.

Within 4-H, youth are motivated to excel in the areas of science, citizenship and healthy living.This year we recognized two different groups of youth who are role models to their peers, “extra ordinary” in the area of citizenship.

The first class was leadership; Zachary Key and Ryan Brantolino are extraordinary leaders and were named so as the 2014 Outstanding Youth Leaders.

Miss Brantolino is our current county council president. She has served in a variety of officer roles in her club and on the county council. She is a regular participant in many 4-H opportunities, from public speaking to the county fair. She is welcoming to others, friendly and reliable. She has an awarded record of representing our county at the district and state level public speaking events and attended NC 4-H Congress as one of our county delegates in 2013.

Mr.Zachary Key has spent much of his youth as a 4-H member. He has served in a variety of officer roles in his club and on the county council. He is a regular participant in a variety of 4-H opportunities from presentations and demonstrations to Summer Exploring youth leadership. He is a regular participant in state wide events such as Electric Congress and the North Carolina County Commissioners Association Youth Summit in 2013. He is eager to share his knowledge and is generous with his peers.

The next group of 4-H youth honored was a class of talented ladies who are role models to their peers for ‘service over self.’  Daniela Berry, Ryan Brantolino, Jessica Joplin, Katie Joplin, and Denae Osborne are our 2014 Service Over Self Outstanding Youth. Throughout the past year they have participated in or lead service projects to impact food security, safe shelter, and a variety of unmet needs. They can be seen around the community at agencies including Shaire Center, Caldwell Co Shelter Home, Caldwell Co Crisis Pregnancy Center,  Caldwell County Yokefellow, and Samaritan’s Purse. They can be found tutoring and mentoring youth at schools, after school programs, and community faith centers. They are generous with their talent and are role models to their peers. Their efforts not only impact Caldwell Co., some of them have contributed to and led projects that impacted other parts of our world. While all 4-H youth participate in serving the community, these young ladies are definitely leaders and role models of what it means to lead a life that contributes to those around them.

4-H uses the slogan, Learn by Doing.As I look back, I see this across programs and most importantly in the lives of the youth we nurture. It is exciting to imagine all the learning and growing that will happen in 2014. If you are interested in learning more about Caldwell Co. 4-H visit a club, join a community program, or give us a call.

Caldwell Co 4-H is an experiential learning youth development program focused in the areas of science, citizenship, and healthy living. We offer clubs, school enrichment, school gardens, summer day camp and youth leadership. We are the youth development program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. For more information contact us at 828.757.1290.