The Georgia Capitol building turned shades of green as it welcomed more than 600 students and adult leaders for Georgia 4-H Day at the Capitol. Outstanding 4-H’ers from counties across the state gathered to engage with their legislators, observe leadership in action and learn about the civic process.
Civic engagement is one of three focus areas that Georgia 4-H emphasizes to youth through in-school programming, after-school activities, project work and camps. A special partnership with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and the Georgia 4-H Foundation makes it possible for hundreds of Georgia 4-H’ers to “learn by doing” with a visit to the State Capitol in Atlanta to experience the civic process in real time.
Senator Larry Walker and Representative Rick Jasperse served as hosts for the 4-H delegation. Georgia 4-H President Venya Gunjal spoke to the House of Representatives and the Senate on behalf of 152,000 4-H’ers currently enrolled in Georgia 4-H. “There is something for everyone in 4-H,” Gunjal said during her address. “This organization is the driving force behind my discovery of my passion for STEM, and
4-H’ers alongside me learn to pursue their own paths to development and leadership.”
Chattooga County spent their morning exploring the Capitol building through tours and a scavenger hunt. Numerous 4-H Staff arranged for meetings with senators and representatives from their own districts, allowing 4-H’ers to ask questions and learn from their representatives in the Georgia legislature.
In attendance were:
April Blackwell, 4-H Staff
Lane Bridges, CHS Student
Callie Brown, THS Student
Penelope Jones, CHS Student
Alexis Lemmings, CHS Student, Northwest District 4-H Officer
Halle Lively, CHS Student
Carter Loughridge. THS Student
Olivia Millican, CHS Student
Bailey Thomas, CHS Student
Joshua Willingham, CHS Student
Georgia’s current slate of elected officials contains many 4-H alumni, parents and supporters who were thrilled to welcome students to the place where government comes to life.
The day included a luncheon that brought students and legislators together for a celebration of Georgia 4-H. Representative Jasperse provided 4-H’ers with encouragement and motivation to become the next generation of leaders. Senator Walker acknowledged a group of 4-H honorees who have received state and national recognition for accomplishments over the past year.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation invests in Georgia 4-H’ers by providing support for transportation, logistics and lunch during 4-H Day at the Capitol. This event is often participants’ first trip to Atlanta and it makes an indelible mark on those who attend. Students are empowered to become leaders of the future when they are given the opportunity to engage with those who lead in the present.
Georgia 4-H enables youth to become excellent citizens by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the premiere youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 240,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities.
For more information about how to get involved with 4-H in your community, contact Chattooga County Extension at (706) 857-0744