AMES, Iowa – Stacey Tjaden of Jones 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.
Tjaden, 17, is the daughter of Steve and Debora Tjaden of Wyoming. 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, Tjaden has been involved in the bucket-bottle calf, poultry, food and nutrition and cat project areas, while receiving project awards at the state level in clothing and at the county and area levels in beef, clothing and photography. She also has received the overall exhibitor, citizenship and achievement awards at the local level.
“My most rewarding project was seeing one of my quilts auctioned as a benefit for a transplant patient,” she said. “I have learned that everyone can be a good citizen within their community and that helping others can be fun and is very rewarding. The confidence I have gained will help me throughout the rest of my life in both my work and community.”
Tjaden has served on her county 4-H council and as club secretary and treasurer. She has attended the Citizenship-Washington Focus and Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and credits her 4-H experiences for helping her determine possible future career paths.
“Through my many years of participation in 4-H I have gained confidence in my public speaking abilities, and my experiences applying for area and state awards have given me valuable practice in my interview skills,” the current senior at Midland High School said. ”I am also planning to pursue a career in agriculture, and many of the projects and activities I have participated in through 4-H have led me to my future plans.”
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 Jones 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