Seventeen local teens competed at 4-H District Project Achievement in March and earned top honors.
Zahava Thompson-Kennedy, a freshman at Newton High, placed third in Arts and Crafts with a demonstration on hair styling. She perfected her skills by styling hair more than 80 times for friends and family in 2007, volunteering for NHS drama productions and assisting in a local hair salon. She was invited to participate in the Decatur Hair Show.
Donte'vis Tucker, a freshman at Newton High, competed in Festive Foods for health with a cooking demonstration on whole grain spaghetti with vegetables and turkey. He also prepared a two-day menu with his demonstration. Tucker said he cooks at least four times a week for his family of five and helps with much of the grocery planning and shopping. He picks up cooking tips from magazines and TV shows.
Cati Aevaliotis, a seventh grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, earned first place in Festive Foods for health with a cooking demonstration on hummus served with whole grain pita bread. She completed a one-day menu for the competition and enjoys working with her younger sister on her 4_H cooking demonstration.
Kellan Finney, a seventh grader at Indian Creek Middle, won first for her demonstration on beluga whales in Marine Resources. She wants to become a marine biologist and has devoted time to learning about the ecosystem and promoting water conservation in her home.
Ken Galloway, an 8th grader at Indian Creek Middle, won first place in computers with a demonstration on Microsoft Office programs. He used his demonstrations to educate other middle school classes and teachers about PowerPoint presentations.
Machonna Jones, an eighth grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, won first in Photography, showing how to use photo editing software to enhance photographs. Jones is often found photographing 4-H and family events.
Austin Wynne, an eighth grader at Cousins Middle, won first in Flowers, Shrubs and Lawns with a demonstration on keeping lawns green in a drought. He assisted his father, County Agricultural Agent Ted Wynne, with educational programs, a demonstration garden at Gaithers Plantation and answering questions on home visits ranging from soil sampling to fertilizing.
Mary Lathen, a seventh grader at Cousins Middle, earned second in Performing Arts Vocal and had the top portfolio score for her project work.
As part of the statewide 4-H performing arts group, she performed for more than 7,000 people last year and had roles in productions by the Oxford Singing Children, Newton County Arts Association and Social Circle Community Theater.
Destiny McKnight, an eighth grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, won second place in Health with a demonstration on the effects of methamphetamines on Newton County youth. She had the first place portfolio. McKnight interviewed a juvenile judge and a DARE officer about local methamphetamine statistics and said she was surprised to learn that at least one in 10 of her classmates has probably used methamphetamine.
LaPorsche Thomas, an eighth grader at Cousins Middle, won second in Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors with a demonstration on styles for every occasion. She often assists friends with clothing questions and has 'passed the fashion down' by passing gently worn items to other friends and students in need.
Alexandra Phillips, an eighth grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, won third in Dog Care and Training. She spends some of her free time caring for her dog and teaching him tricks.
Aaliyah Thomas, an eighth grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, won third in Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors with a demonstration on clothing fibers and had the first place portfolio. She toured local clothing businesses and interviewed owners to learn more about the retail end of the fashion industry.
Paula Hopkins, a seventh grader at Clements Middle, had the second place portfolio for the Performing Arts Instrumental project. She recorded every band performance and practice for the year as well as each time she learned a new skill or instrument or helped another musician.
Katie Johnson, a seventh grader at Indian Creek Middle, sang in the Performing Arts Vocal competition and had the third place portfolio for the project.
Kaylarose Lindsey, a seventh grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, competed in Performing Arts Instrumental on the bass clarinet.
Chesee Nabritt, an eighth grader at Veterans Memorial Middle, discussed cheerleading in her demonstration in the Sports project.
Tai Avery, an eighth grader at Cousins Middle, competed in Performing Arts General with a dance combining hip hop, cheer dancing and African and Caribbean dancing.
Junior (seventh and eighth grade) and Senior (ninth through 12th grade) 4-Her's prepare a professional portfolio or resume of their work throughout the year and must present an 8- to 12-minute demonstration on their project. In the Northwest District, almost 300 Juniors and 300 Seniors competed in 50 project areas.
Financial support for the trip was provided by sunbelt Builders, Georgia Power and United Bank of Covington. Newton County 4-H has served youth since 1904 and currently reaches more than 1,600 children ages 9-19.
The 4-Her's are already at work learning and sharing about their projects for next year.
If you would like to assist or sponsor a competitor or invite a 4-Her to share his demonstration with your organization, contact Program Specialist Terri Kimble at (770) 784-2010 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.