CORVALLIS – Twenty-six 4-H members from Oregon will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta, Georgia, joining 1,300 teens from all over the nation to participate in the 76th National 4-H Congress.
The Oregon 4-H'ers range in grades from juniors in high school to college freshmen, according to Duane Johnson, Oregon State University Extension 4-H youth development specialist.
"Our youth delegates have demonstrated leadership potential and a desire to improve their communities and the world," Johnson said.
At the Congress, the young people will attend educational programs and cultural events in Atlanta. They will hear from Andrew Young, former ambassador to the United Nations; Scot Hollonbeck, Paralympic gold medalist and author; and Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999. In addition, more than 19 educational programs will feature topics that range from conflict mediation and effective youth leadership skills to biotechnology in agriculture and global environmental policies.
The 4-H delegates will also learn community service from a hands-on perspective. During Congress, they will divide into groups and perform community service projects around Atlanta at such sites as Project Open Hand, Goodwill Industries, Metro Atlanta Furniture Bank, Park Pride and the Truitt-Fulton 4-H Center.
"The 4-H members will use the educational sessions and the community service experience as a basis for community activities when they return home," Johnson said.
The delegates will have a chance for some fun, too. They will visit a number of historical and cultural sites that reflect the development of Atlanta since the Civil War. And although many of the youngsters will miss being home for the holidays, Thanksgiving dinner should be memorable. The Oregon 4-H'ers will be served a four-course dinner at the Hyatt Hotel.
Oregon's delegates were chosen based on their 4-H project achievements, leadership, citizenship, and on a personal interview. The 26 young people were selected from 120 applicants. The size of Oregon's delegation depends on private contributions from individuals, businesses and associations to the Oregon 4-H Foundation, according to Johnson.
The leaders of the Oregon delegation are Karen Jeffrey of Oregon City and Luke Monroe of Sheridan. Erick Keerins, Canyon City, will serve as the Oregon flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Accompanying the Oregon delegation are Sherri Nantz, 4-H leader from Imbler; Debera Tracy, Wallowa County 4-H agent; Vicki Avery, 4-H state office; and Duane Johnson, who serves as the coordinator.
Other 4-H members attending the National 4-H Congress are:
ALBANY: Erica Ward
BLODGETT: Annika Kessi
CANYON CITY: Erick Keerins
CECIL - IONE: Jessica Krebs
CENTRAL POINT: Christine Petersen
CLOVERDALE: Amy Hopkes
CORVALLIS: Dara Easley, Denise Giles
DEXTER: Jennifer Newcomer
EDDYVILLE: Shane Grant
HILLSBORO: Myra Coe
LOSTINE: Ramirose Attebury
MEDFORD: Brooke Huard, Jessica Cartwright
MONROE: Erin Holman
NEWBERG: Laura Stewart
OREGON CITY: Karen Jeffrey
PORTLANDL: Andrew Bernard (97232)
REDMOND: Jessica Haavisto
ROGUE RIVER: Jason Krebs
SALEM: Cheri Andersen
SHERIDAN: Luke Monroe
SHERWOOD: Kristi Price
SUTHERLIN: Darci Boak
TILLAMOOK: Becky Hogan
UNION: Mia Swanson