Johnny Morgan | 12/9/2009 1:03:52 AM
Eleven 4-H members and one adult volunteer were honored at the Louisiana 4-H Educational Awards Trip banquet at the LSU’s Lod Cook Conference Center Nov. 24.
Tanya Giroir, an instructor in the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Development Department, said the trip participants are the seventh- and eighth-grade winners of 2009 4-H achievement awards.
The winners were Madalynn Barbay, Pointe Coupee Parish; T. J. “Trent” Brown, Rapides Parish; Kaitlyn Chargois, Calcasieu Parish; Austin Gaspard and Anne Catherine LeBlanc, Vermilion Parish; Seth Guillory, Acadia Parish; Courtney LeBlanc, Iberia Parish; Wade Morrison, Vernon Parish; Meagan Murrell, Acadia Parish; Bethany Rhodes, Union Parish, and Alex Sauer, Bossier Parish.
The adult leader award winner was Michelle Puissegur of Acadia Parish. She was one of 10 adults who submited a portfolio of her volunteer work and leadership roles.
“Each of these young people submitted a portfolio of three projects they have focused on, along with their leadership and service records. Then, a panel of judges chose 11 winners from 67 entries,” Giroir said. “These 4-H’ers are chosen because they love and live 4-H.”
Giroir said they are the heart of 4-H because of their commitment and their enthusiasm.
“These youth impact their local community in positive ways that they do not yet understand,” she said. “It’s a way of life for these students. They don’t realize that not everyone has that mindset of service to their community. What a wonderful world we would live in if everyone had that approach to life.”
Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, which operates the 4-H program in Louisiana, challenged the award winners to step up and be the leaders of tomorrow.
“Many of the problems that we face today in this state will not be solved by us, but by you,” Coreil told them. “These challenges are not quick-fix problems. They will require strong leaders like you.”
As part of their three-day educational trip to south Louisiana, the 4-H’ers toured various sites in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
“These students, from all parts of Louisiana, come together to enjoy the history, sites and activities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge,” Giroir said.
She said appreciation goes to the volunteer 4-H leaders, parish 4-H agents and parents for the support and encouragement the youth receive.
“Over and over again during their three days, these students were charged to go back to their local parish and give back to others what was given to them, to help others know what 4-H can offer them and to be active in their local community affairs,” Giroir said.
Sponsors for the educational trip include the LSU AgCenter, LSU Rural Life Museum, Burden Research Center, DEMCO, Ric Seeling Dance Studio, New Orleans Superdome, New Orleans Arena, Entergy of New Orleans, the LSU Athletic Department, the Louisiana 4-H Foundation and the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Development Department.