Three Jefferson County 4-H members recently received honors for their leadership and dedication to the county and Arkansas 4-H programs.
• Sylvana Burgess — A junior 4-H member, Sylvana Burgess was selected as a 2018 Arkansas Teen Star and Hall of Fame Banquet Server. She is a sixth-grader at Jack Robey Junior High School.
• Jonathan Burgess — A senior 4-H member, Jonathan Burgess, (Sylvana’s brother), was selected as a 2018 Arkansas 4-H Teen Star. He is a junior at Pine Bluff High School. The siblings are children of Mark and MarShell Burgess.
• Kalyah Edwards — A senior 4-H member, Kalyah Edwards, was selected as a 2018 Arkansas 4-H Ambassador. Edwards is the daughter of Vincent and Kimberly Edwards and a 2018 graduate of White Hall High School.
Sylvana Burgess is among 4-H members, ages 11-14, who apply for leadership roles and the opportunity to serve at the Teen Star and Hall of Fame Banquet. The event is held at the Arkansas C.A. Vines 4-H Center in conjunction with the annual Teen Leader Conference, according to a news release.
Jonathan Burgess was also recently recognized during the Teen Star and Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony at the annual 4-H Teen Leader Conference.
“The Arkansas 4-H Teen Star Program is a recognition program for outstanding achievement in 4-H projects and activities, leadership, and community service,” according to the release. “Consideration is based on eligible members’ completion and submission of an eight-page application which includes a statement by the 4-H agent concerning the applicant’s leadership ability and achievement in 4-H project work and service activities.”
Each year, Teen Stars who are graduating high school seniors are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Zack O. and Jennie D. Jennings.
Arkansas 4-H Ambassadors, such as Edwards, assist with 4-H promotion at the state and county level. Ambassadors assist with statewide 4-H programs such as planning and conducting the Teen Leader Conference, serving as banquet or workshop speakers, and representing 4-H at various activities such as fairs, donor events, awards programs, community and state organizations’ annual meetings.
A 4-H member must first be recognized as an Arkansas 4-H Teen Star and may apply for Ambassador the following year after they receive Teen Star recognition. Edwards was named Teen Star last year.
Additionally, applicants write and present an original 500 word 4-H promotional speech and respond to questions from a panel of judges during an interview.
Pia Woods is the Jefferson County Extension Agent-4-H Youth Development.
“Arkansas 4-H Teen Stars and Ambassadors have been actively involved in 4-H for several years and are considered to be the best of the best,” Woods said. “These 4-Hers and their hard work and accomplishments throughout their 4-H careers are prime examples of the type of leadership and life skills 4-H strives to develop in youth.”
“Being named Arkansas 4-H Teen Star and Ambassador are very high honors,” Woods said, adding that Jefferson County 4-H is proud of them.
For details on 4-H in Jefferson County, contact Pia Woods at 870-534-1033 or visit the Jefferson County Extension office at 500 Idaho St.
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