Numerous individuals were recognized and awarded for their dedication to Tattnall County 4-H at the club’s 2021-22 awards ceremony on the evening of May 26, 2022.
Junior and Senior 4-H’ers have competed in District Project Achievement (DPA), District Fair Exhibits, District Judging Events, Project S.A.F.E., Livestock Shows, and State Level competitions, such as State Congress. Senior 4-H’ers who place first at the District level can move on to compete on the State Level in many competitions. First place winners at the State Level become Master 4-H’ers. Juniors and Seniors are also recognized as Teen Leaders when they serve in a Leadership role while helping younger 4-H’ers. This includes Cloverleaf DPA, Cloverleaf Camp, after-school workshops, and Junior Conference.
County Extension Agent Rebekah Greene presented the following awards:
Aliah Bamburg, a graduate, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
Laneeva Beal, an eighth grader, received awards for Kiwanis Fair and Poultry Judging.
Morgan Blalock, a sophomore, received an award for Livestock Shows.
Dawson Cromer, a freshman, received an award for Kiwanis Fair.
Ariel Cruz, a junior, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022, Poultry Judging, Kiwanis Fair, and Tech Changemakers. She also received the Teen Leader award.
Jonah Durrence, a 2022 graduate, received awards for Kiwanis Fair and District and State Archery. He also received the Teen Leader Award. Durrence served as a National Shooting Sports Ambassador for 2021-22.
Jamie Ellis, a junior, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022 and Kiwanis Fair.
Raven Fernandez, a junior, received an award for State Horse Show.
Calli Gill, an eighth grader, received awards for Archery as well as the State Outdoor Archery Tournament at Rock Eagle.
Kate Jarriel, a sophomore, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022, Kiwanis Fair, and Tech Changemakers. She also received the Teen Leader Award.
Hagan Kennedy, a graduate, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and State Congress 2021.
Kate Kennedy, a junior, received an award for Livestock Shows.
Macy Kennedy, a freshman, received an award for Livestock Shows.
Jesica Lanier, a junior, received an award for State Horse Show.
Gracie Lively, a graduate, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
Lou Lively, an eighth grader, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022 and for the Kiwanis Fair.
Elton McGillis, a graduate, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
Macy Meeks, a sophomore, received an award for Livestock Shows.
Megan Miller, a sophomore, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022, Kiwanis Fair, Poultry Judging, Clovers and Company Production Team, Tech Changemakers, and Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference. She also received the Teen Leader Award. Megan also served as a Georgia State Healthy Living Ambassador.
Nick Miller, a 2022 graduate, received awards for District Project Achievement 2021 and 2022, Kiwanis Fair, Tech Changemakers, the Clovers and Company Production Team. He also received the Teen Leader Award.
Ashtyn Ray, a graduate, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
J.J. Ray, a freshman, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
Sam Robinson, a 2022 graduate, received an award for District Project Achievement 2021.
Tattnall County was selected as recipient of the Georgia 4-H Tech Changemakers Grant. As part of this program, members have learned about a variety of technological programs that can be beneficial for small businesses, job seekers, and others already in the workforce.
“We have had the opportunity to share about our program with the Board of Education, Southeast District Extension staff, County employees, and more,” Megan Miller, 4-H member and changemaker, said.
Megan and her partner, Ariel Cruz, shared the many helpful applications they and others can use when communicating within their clubs, organizations, schools, and workplace. These applications include MailChimp and Remind101.
“We hope that by using these two new technologies, we can close the gap and do a better job keeping all of our 4-H’ers and parents better informed about upcoming 4-H events and activities in the future,” Cruz said.
A special group of 4-H’ers were also recognized: Hagan Kennedy, Gracie Lively, Elton McGillis, Nick Miller, and Ashtyn Ray. This group of young people received extra recognition for their dedicated participation in 4-H District Project Achievement (DPA) for all eight years of their 4-H career. They received a project achievement pin as well as some small gifts from the State 4-H Office for their commitment to DPA.
Although COVID-19 and scheduling conflicts prevented some from attending in Atlanta, all these young people were invited to participate in State Congress, which is a great testament to the quality of their work over these past eight years.
Jonah Durrence also received special recognition at the ceremony. The Tattnall County 4-H archery team started as a small four-person team over a decade ago and has slowly grown over the years. Durrence is the first eight-year participant to graduate. He was the first person who joined the program as a fifth grader and competed every year until graduation. He was the solo member to hold out to compete virtually during the 2020-21 school year and has helped to grow the team back this year.
Tattnall County 4-H has always been blessed with strong support from the local school system, according to Greene. This has never been more apparent than during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Williams was presented with the Tattnall County Friend of 4-H Award.
“While many counties struggled to get permission to continue 4-H programming in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns, Tattnall County schools, under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Gina Williams, were some of the first in the state to reinstate regular in-school club meetings,” Greene said. “Williams has been a long-time advocate of 4-H in Tattnall County, and her support during these past few years has been extremely valuable in allowing 4-H to continue business as usual. Williams is always available to talk with the Extension staff if we do have challenges we need to overcome and always helps find a solution to the challenges. We have greatly appreciated her help during her tenure as superintendent.”
4-H teachers are another essential piece of making 4-H a success. Greene and the 4-H’ers greatly appreciate all the teachers who work to keep 4-H in their classrooms throughout the year. Morgan Durrence of North Tattnall Middle School coordinated meeting dates, reminded students about upcoming events, and did anything she could to help encourage her students to participate. This is why she was presented with the Tattnall County 4-H Teacher of the Year Award.
“Each year, we strive to recognize a teacher who has gone above and beyond to support the youth in their classroom to be involved in 4-H. This year, we would like to recognize a new teacher who was integral in helping us establish seventh grade club meetings at North Tattnall Middle School. This pilot program of having seventh grade in-school meetings has led to increased participation by seventh graders in the archery program, DPA, and summer camp opportunities,” Greene said.
Another long-time supporter of Tattnall County 4-H was the recipient of the Outstanding 4-H Alumni Award. This year’s recipient was a member of Tattnall County 4-H growing up and has had very few years since then that she wasn’t actively involved in 4-H in some way. She has enjoyed the roles of 4-H’er, Alumni, Parent, Volunteer, Advisory Council Member, and Cheerleader for many decades.
“This person always can be counted on for a smile and encouraging word, and is always one of the first to offer her help with any event that is going on. This year, after her children graduated, she still found time to help out with DPA students at her school and to serve as a Volunteer Judge. We hope she will continue to keep 4-H in her life for many years to come. This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Tattnall County 4-H Alumni Award is presented to Mrs. Yvette Kennedy,” Greene said.
The I Dare You Award is a national award established by William Danforth who dared young people to achieve their highest potential and to influence others through their lives of leadership and service. The award comes with a copy of Danforth’s inspirational book, I Dare You.
The students chosen for the I Dare You Award this year represent 4-H and Tattnall County as a whole very well, according to Greene. This year’s I Dare You Awards were presented to Jonah Durrence and Nick Miller.
Promoting higher education and supporting youth in that endeavor was very important to former 4-H leaders Max Smith and Catherine Morgan. A scholarship was established in their honor to recognize up to two deserving students each year who reside in Glennville.
Durrence received a certificate and will receive a $250 scholarship after satisfactory completion of one semester of college as the 2022 Max Smith-Catherine Morgan Memorial Scholarship winner.
Each year, Tattnall County 4-H also presents the Mentoring Youth Leadership Award. This award is designed to recognize someone who has had a positive influence leading younger 4-H’ers in the program.
This year’s recipient has spent countless hours this year assisting young people with their Cloverleaf DPA presentations. From editing speeches behind the scenes to working one-on-one with youth, she has been a calming and encouraging influence on each and every one of this year’s 24 Cloverleaf DPA participants. For her outstanding work in the area of Cloverleaf DPA, this year’s Mentoring Youth Leadership Award is presented to Ariel Cruz.
The Catch ‘Em Doing Something Good Citizenship Award is presented each year to a young person who is caught doing something good. This can be a simple act of kindness, a program to support others, or helping out in time of need. This award was presented to a young lady, Morgan Blalock, who has been a role model to other young people in her project for many years. She started showing livestock as a Cloverbud and has grown into a very competent pig showman. While she wins plenty of awards, her real contribution to the Tattnall County 4-H Livestock Program is in the way she encourages others around her to be good sports and to stay involved in the livestock program, according to Greene.
Durrence closed out the ceremony with the 4-H Challenge. He challenged her peers to follow God’s plan for them, love others, and be the difference.
“John 9:5 says, ‘While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ We are called to be lights of the world. In a world of darkness, we are called to be shining lights. My challenge to everyone tonight is to be the difference. Be the light in someone’s life. Four-H’ers, I hope that the people you meet at your archery tournaments or at camp or at DPA or wherever you are, I hope that people will see that you are different. It’s easy to get caught up in the crowd. It’s easy to act like everyone else in order to fit in. No one ever became successful or famous by acting like everyone else. They were different. I challenge you tonight that no matter where you go, no matter what you do, live for Christ and if you do that, people will notice the difference in you,” Durrence said.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
And my health to better living
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.