Congratulations 2020 4-H Graduates
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One thing is certain in these very uncertain times, 4-H has some great members moving on into adulthood and leaving behind a program that is better because these young people were a part of it. Bill Stone and I have been a small part of their lives for the last few years and we are overwhelmed with their accomplishments. Graduation will not look the same this year for our 2020 youth so I wanted to take this moment to honor these who have greatly impacted Lee County through 4-H.
Cindy Howenstein, Bill, and I will miss these Young Commissioners 4-H Club graduates and we hope they will find a way to continue their 4-H service in college or as a local volunteer. They entered 4-H through the two week summer leadership program and continued to work hard as club members and officers. Many took advantage of all the opportunities available to teen 4-H’ers like county and state citizenship, volunteering, and activism. There are several local organizations that will miss their assistance, like the Lee Regional Fair, Mann Center, El Refugio, Arts Council, Friends of the Library, Salvation Army, and Family Promise. Most of these 4-H’ers attended 4-H Congress, District Teen Retreat, Citizenship Focus, Ambassadors, and won 4-H Public Speaking Competitions. We say congratulations to these Lee Early College and Lee Senior graduates; Suzy Brito, Selena Cuevas, Aracely Guerrero, Jennifer Hernandez, Crystal Kohli, Danna Mastache, Mackenzie Roche, Paulina Romero, and Angel Uy who will continue adding to her 4-H resume as the 2020/2021 South Central District President.
Bruce Ledford, LJ Carroll, Bill and I will miss these Team Topshots 4-H Club graduates and we hope they will continue teaching the world about shooting sports safety, sportsmanship, and showing the leadership characteristics we have seen in them as members of 4-H. Congratulations to homeschool graduates Cobey Ledford and Brenna Steger. Both of these graduates have won multiple 4-H shooting sports competitions and 4-H public speaking competitions in their years in this program. Brenna was selected to compete on the National Shooting Team but, sadly, that competition will not be happening this year, another event canceled as a result of the virus. Both Cobey and Brenna have also participated in teen activities like Winter Enrichment, Teen Retreat, and 4-H Congress.
Myrna Rodriguez, Bill, and I will miss these Magetsi Latin Dance 4-H Club members and we hope they will continue connecting communities and generations by sharing their heritage through artistic expression. They have spent hours practicing, demonstrating, volunteering, and participating in 4-H Congress, District Teen Retreat, the County Council, and the 4-H Public Speaking Program. Congratulations to Lee Senior graduates, Luz Canseco, Jorge Garcia, and Alberto Cortez. I know Myrna will miss your assistance with her little Cloverbuds.
Karen Mersinger, the Hearts and Hands Quilt Guild, Bill, and I will miss this Crazy Quilter 4-H Club member and we hope she will continue connecting generations using this heritage skill and her heart for service. As the oldest member of the club her last year has been more as a volunteer to our ten to twelve year old members. She has attended many leadership retreats like 4-H Congress and Teen Retreat, competed and won in the Public Speaking program, and volunteered as a teen leader for many Summer Fun Camps. Congratulations to homeschool graduate Katie Kerley.
According to the 2013 Tufts University study, 4-H’ers excel. They are nearly four times more likely to make contributions to their communities, about two times more likely to be civically active, and nearly two times more likely to make healthier choices. Thank you for helping Lee County 4-H honor these strong, excellent young people who are the example of 4-H’ers excelling. I also continue to be thankful to their volunteer club leaders because, as Helen Keller says, “together we can do so much.”
Many things have changed this year and we have adapted in unexpected ways. This will be our first annual 4-H virtual graduation celebration. We wanted to make sure we were able to recognize these outstanding young folks in some way, however non-traditional it may be! Be sure and pay attention to our Lee County 4-H social media as these graduates virtually “walk” in early June with additional “pomp and circumstance” planned during virtual State 4-H Congress in July.