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Georgia 4-H announces Master 4-H’ers through virtual achievement series

Georgia 4-H hosted a virtual series to announce and honor youth winners in replacement of its annual State 4-H Congress, normally a weeklong competition and celebration in Atlanta. The online series allowed Georgia 4-H to announce all the winners live, similar to the in-person festivities which have been held annually since 1942.

“Our top priority for the culmination of this year’s Project Achievement program was to find a way for the youth to compete for the state title of ‘Master 4-H’er’ while observing safety precautions,” said Keri Hobbs, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. “Pivoting the statewide competition to a virtual format was necessary for youth to continue to sharpen their skills and for us to name state project winners. Key alterations were that presentations were recorded for judges to evaluate through videos and portfolio, and interview judges joined youth online for virtual interviews.”

Nearly 250 youth competing in the state-level Senior Project Achievement were permitted to submit 10- to 12-minute presentations in their various project areas online. Participants also conducted a video interview with judges to discuss their yearlong project. Overall, one winner in each of the 50 project categories was selected as the winner and received Master 4-H’er status during the announcement of winners on July 24.

Decatur County 4-H’ers participating in this year’s contest were Corbin Austin and Journey Austinson. Corbin competed in the Public Speaking project and Journey Austinson received 1st place and Master 4-H’er status in the Performing Arts- Piano project.

Annually, more than 77,000 youth participate in Georgia 4-H Project Achievement and develop skills in leadership, public speaking, record keeping, creativity and other life skills. During the 2019-20 school year, Decatur County had 62 fourth-twelfth grade students participate in 4-H Project Achievement. 

The success of these events is a result of efforts that have been invested and skills that have been sharpened in 4-H youth for years. The growth of these young people is the direct result of positive mentorships with local Extension faculty, staff and volunteers and the support of the local community, parents, teachers and mentors.

To view the full online series, visit https://youtube.com/Georgia4H.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Decatur County Extension office at 229.248-3033.