HILLSBOROUGH: Local teen headed to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta

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Kirsten Clerico (Courtesy photo)

Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
Two local teens have been chosen to represent Somerset County at this year’s National 4-H Congress in Atlanta later this month.
Kirsten Clerico, of Hillsborough, and Kara Johnson, of Skillman, will join 16 other teens from Bergen, Burlington, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth and Sussex counties as part of the New Jersey delegation.
“The 4-H members selected to attend this leadership and recognition event have demonstrated outstanding achievement as a 4-H member in the areas of leadership, citizenship and personal development,” state 4-H Agent and National 4-H Events Coordinator Jeannette Rea-Keywood said.
National 4-H Congress is an annual educational and recognition event for the 4-H youth program. Running for nearly a century, the yearly conference has provided teens from the United States and its territories an educational and cross-cultural experience.
According to officials, the program combines a variety of sessions, seminars, discussion groups and a service learning experience where some of the country’s top community leaders, speakers and educators present current and timely information.
“National 4-H Congress provides a life-changing experience for youth to meet 4-H members from across America, as they participate in educational workshops focusing on diversity, cultural experiences, leadership, team building and personal development,” Rea-Keywood said.
The event for this year’s event will be “Be True, Be You,” which will focus primarily on the Cooperative Extension System’s belief that young people can help address the issues facing the nation, especially those affecting youth.
The educational programs planned for the conference were developed by a design team of youths and adults from around the country. Recreational and networking opportunities for the teens will be included in the itinerary, as well as a cultural evening where they engage in a variety of forms of the arts at the Atlanta History Center. Other venues in Atlanta will also available to the youth, including the Centennial Olympic Park, The World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta Zoo, CNN Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Aquarium and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center.
During the “Day of Service,” the National 4-H Congress delegates will be assigned a variety of community service projects in the Atlanta metro area. On Monday morning, each 4-H member will have the opportunity to help others in a variety of ways and experience really what it is like to be a catalyst for positive change.