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Nevada youth to travel to Atlanta for national event

Posted 11/26/2008

4-H members nationwide to participate in annual gathering

Four Elko 4-H youth delegates will travel to Atlanta Thursday (Nov. 27) for the 2008 National 4-H Congress. Megan Johnson, Mallary Paoli, Gus Paoli and Tate Wines will spend Thanksgiving weekend developing team-building and career-development skills as well as socializing with 4-H youth members from all 50 states.

The aim of the "Accept the Challenge" National 4-H Congress is for youth to learn about 4-H programs in other parts of the country and to bring fresh ideas back to their communities. The youths will travel with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and 4-H administrative assistant Lisa Boldman.

The delegates were chosen from a statewide pool of applicants. Applicants were required to submit a resume, a narrative of their experience within 4-H and a list of 4-H awards and accolades. After the application process, potential delegates participated in video interviews with a panel for 4-H state personnel. All four youth presented outstanding applications and wowed panelists in their interviews, Boldman said.

"All of the kids are outstanding," Boldman said.

Mallary Paoli has been designated the Nevada state youth delegation advisor, and Tate Wines will bare the Nevada state flag at State Meeting ceremony on orientation day. All four members will come together and socialize with youth from every state and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"They’re going to work on team-building skills and other 4-H responsibilities that they can bring back to the Nevada membership," Boldman said. "It’s kind of like brainstorming."

More than 1,100 4-H members will attend the event in Georgia — attendance has increased by 100 members since last year.

Along with attending various workshops, the four Nevada delegates will help public-school teachers in the classroom, spend time with the elderly at care facilities, feed local homeless at rescue shelters and pack donated medical supplies to be shipped to various Third World countries.

Boldman said the 2008 National 4-H Congress will broaden opportunities for these youth.

"A lot of time, particularly in rural areas, kids have never been outside of the state," Boldman said. "So getting on the airplane — No. 1 — is going to expand their scope of opportunities. They’re going to Atlanta, a city which has every opportunity you can imagine. This entire experience builds their confidence — especially being in such a metropolitan setting. There are a lot of cultural differences from West to East. If they didn’t have this experience, they wouldn’t be able to develop such a world view."

Boldman said the event is also a perfect opportunity for these youth to demonstrate how 4-H is run in Nevada.

"They’re able to meet kids from other states who live in big cities and might have a different 4-H experience," Boldman said. "They might be after-school 4-Hers who have an entirely different perception of what 4-H is. Kids from Elko are in a rural setting. They can share their experience with these kids from urban settings."

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