AMES, Iowa – Susan Graves of Johnson County has been selected to represent Iowa as a delegate for the National 4-H Congress entitled “Accept the Challenge” in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 27 – Dec. 1. One of 22 Iowa youth attending, she is sponsored by the Iowa 4-H Foundation National 4-H Congress Endowment and will get a chance to listen to speakers, participate in workshops and serve the Atlanta community.
“National 4-H Congress is an amazing opportunity for Iowa 4-H’ers,” said Brenda Allen, Iowa State University Extension 4-H youth developmental specialist. “Not only do youth meet delegates from across the country, they also have the opportunity to hear nationally-renowned speakers and participate in thought-provoking workshops.”
The workshop topics include team building, cultural issues and leadership skills, and the community service projects take place in the Atlanta area. Tours of Atlanta, an international night and a trip to the Atlanta History Museum are among other things also included.
Graves, 17, is the daughter of Joe and Leann Graves of Iowa City. Through interviews and evaluation of support materials, she and the other 21 delegates were selected based on their citizenship, leadership and overall achievement in the 4-H program.
During her nine years in 4-H, Graves has been involved in the citizenship, leadership, photography and cat project areas. At the state fair she has received blue ribbons for clothing and food and nutrition projects and certificates of merit and participation for working exhibits and Share the Fun. She also has received the President's Gold Service Award, champion pet showmanship and numerous excellence awards in communication at the local level.
“4-H has given me the opportunity to grow in the areas of citizenship, leadership and communication,” she said. “I have also gained much knowledge and many skills in my project areas, and through my pet project, I have explored the possibility of a career in veterinary medicine.”
In addition to projects, Graves has attended the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, served as a host for the 4-H Exchange program and been an active leader in both her club and county. As a county 4-H council member, she has organized fellow members to participate in Kids Against Hunger and make May baskets for nursing home residents, and as club president and vice president, she has led her club in raising funds to make theme baskets for families of deployed military personnel.
“I am most proud of what I have done to help others, and I have learned how to set goals and be an effective leader,” said the current senior at Iowa City High School.
Two ISU Extension youth development field specialists, Ray Reynolds and Daleta Christensen, will accompany the Iowa delegates as chaperones.
For more information about 4-H, contact the Johnson County office of ISU Extension. 4-H in Iowa is administered through the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development program and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames.
Hannah McCulloh, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9915, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, email@example.com