Local youth attends National 4-H Congress


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A delegation of 12 North Carolina 4-H youth including one of Sampson County’s own, Lauren Hardin, attended the 94th annual National 4-H Congress, which was held in Atlanta, Ga. The North Carolina delegation returned home from five days in which more than 900 youth and adults, representing 4-H programs across the country, gathered to participate in educational, service and recreational opportunities.

Hardin is the daughter of David and Anglea Hardin of Clinton, a junior at Clinton High School and works part time at Matthews Health Mart. She has been an active member of 4-H since she was 5 years old.

Attending National Congress is one of the highest honors as a 4-H’er. This trip is awarded to delegates for being the 4-H State Congress winners in AIRE competition. AIRE is an Application, Interview, Resume and Essay competition – a four-step process by which youth are chosen to attend National Congress. As a winner, the 4-H’er is awarded an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 National 4-H Congress.

In July, Hardin competed in Raleigh at 4-H State Congress. She was the state winner in the AIRE Science and Technology category. She was also inducted into the 4-H Honors Club while attending State Congress. Both of these achievement are outstanding accomplishments for a 4-H’er, organization officials noted.

Hardin had the opportunity to represent North Carolina 4-H Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 at the 2015 conference. This year’s theme “Excite. Spark. Ignite.” focused on ways for 4-H’ers to excel in leadership, citizenship and service to others. Workshops, speakers and group activities encouraged National 4-H Congress delegates to think broadly and to make their club, community, country and world a better place.

During workshops, she had a chance to participate in sessions ranging from service learning to robotics. National 4-H Congress speakers, like Ms. America and Stedman Graham, challenged participants to reach out and to make a difference in the world. One way participants reached out to help others was by traveling to different parts of Atlanta and surrounding areas to participate in community service activities.

The history of the National 4-H Congress goes back 94 years. An educational tour to Chicago was the forerunner to what would eventually become known as National 4-H Congress. Today National 4-H Congress provides a great opportunity for 4-H members from across the country to come together and learn about community involvement, culture diversity, and service to others while meeting new friends.

For more information on this event or other 4-H problems, please contact your local 4-H agent. The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 232,000 young people from ages 5-18 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of more than 20,000 adult and youth volunteers.

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