SAINT AUGUSTINE – The St. Johns County 4-H Youth Development program held its annual 4-H Public Speaking contest Jan. 30 at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center. Youth from all age divisions, Cloverbuds (ages 5-7), Juniors (8-10), Intermediates (11-13) and Seniors (14-18), competed in this showcase event. 4-H supporters served as judges for the night, including four 4-H alumni. The alumni included Judge Clyde Wolfe, Sister Susan Foster, Ms. Mickey Mickler and Dr. Danita Heagy. Horticulture Extension Agent Terra Freeman and the parent of two 4-H alumni, Kym McWilliams, volunteered their time and shared their expertise with the young competitors as well. Senior 4-H’ers Javier Bermeo and Miguel Bermeo served as emcees for the event.
Cloverbud Victoria Oberholtzer earned a green ribbon for “The 4-H Pledge.” Junior Mya Oberholtzer earned 1st place for her speech, “If I was the President of the United States, I Would Change…” The second place rosette went to Tayler Coleman for her speech, “Bunnies” and Caden Thomas earned third place with his speech “All About Chickens.” In the Intermediate division, Jake Nuttall earned 1st place for his speech, “Never Give Up on Your Dreams.” Also in the Intermediate division, Tim Schroeder won 2nd place for his speech titled, “Factory Farmed Meats and the Alternatives” and Willow Aboulafia earned 3rd place for her speech, “The Glory of Montessori.” For the Senior division, Sarah Foster won 1st place for her speech, “Student Leadership: Making an Impact.” Charity Young earned 2nd place for her speech titled, “Head, Heart, Hands, Health & Hero” and Elias Missa received 3rd place for his speech “Medita-Zen.”
All first and second place winners qualified to compete in the 4-H District Events to be held April 21th at Belle Terre Elementary School in Palm Coast. 4-H youth from Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties will be competing at this District VI event. Other competitions to be held that day include Demonstrations & Illustrated Talks and Share the Fun, a 4-H talent competition.
Communication and planning/organizing are two of many life skills participation in 4-H strengthens. Engaging in public speaking gives 4-H youth the opportunity to express their ideas thoughtfully and with conviction. Throughout the year, 4-H’ers have the opportunity to perform original speeches in their individual clubs and in leadership programs such as 4-H County Council. 4-H’ers also go into the community to share their 4-H experiences with others. Senior 4-H’er Sarah Foster has been speaking publicly for more than five years as evidenced by her engaging talk.
Enrollment for the 4-H Youth Development Program takes place each September and is for youth ages 5-18, as of September 1st. Anyone interested in enrolling in the St. Johns County 4-H program for the 2014-2015 4-H year may do so by going to http://stjohns.ifas.ufl.edu/4-H.shtml . Caring adults interested in working with youth should contact the St. Johns County 4-H Office (904 209-0430) to learn of the many volunteer opportunities within the 4-H Youth Development Program.
4-H and all programs and related activities sponsored for, or assisted by, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are open to all persons with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. As one of our nation’s oldest, yet most current organizations, 4-H is reaching millions of young people with positive youth development opportunities.