4-H Seniors, 2021!
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Voices of friends and family filled the room as an aspiring dentist, creative writer, surgeon, veterinarian, economist, businessman, teacher, and fiber and textile designer took their seats in the room. The evening’s focal point remained on these seven individuals who each have different aspirations, but one common community, Henderson County 4-H.
Cayden Brackett originally joined the Dana Wildcats 4-H afterschool Club in the 3rd grade. Cayden’s 4-H leader recognized his public speaking abilities at an early age, encouraging him to lead as 4-H Club president for a year. This moment sparked an interest that would go beyond elementary school. Cayden later joined the Leaders In Training 4-H Club where he remained involved for 9 years. Throughout his 4-H career he held many officer positions in the Club and County levels, excelled at 4-H presentations from County to State levels, attended electric congress for his projects and became a well-rounded individual involved in community service, citizenship and 4-H Club and County events.
Celia Gibbs started her 4-H journey at 7 years old when her friend, Haley Hargus, asked her to come to a 4-H Club meeting, and the rest was history! Celia’s 4-H career took various paths, being a member of the Barnyard Bandits 4-H Club and the LIT 4-H Club, showing livestock at the Mountain State Fair, serving her community through service and leadership, and excelling as a 4-H overnight camper and volunteer. As Celia recalled moments in 4-H she had to say “what has impacted me the most is the confidence I have gained. I used to be painfully shy, but 4-H helped me grow out of that. It has been super helpful skills when doing college and scholarship interviews. But my favorite part of 4-H would be the good friends and memories I have made. I will cherish those forever.”
Kiera Wills and was quick to voice that her 4-H experience was grounded in her fellow 4-H’ers and leaders. “The people who have impacted my 4-H experience would be my leader, Wendy Cantrell, and my wonderful 4-H friends. They always showed amazing sportsmanship that drove me to put myself out there more; I don’t know where I’d be without them.” Kiera was a member of the Hoofbeats 4-H Club and credits learning all she knows about horses to the leaders. More importantly, Kiera credits growing as a person through the community service projects, horse shows, and experiences that 4-H offered her.
Ezra Pressely has been a member of Young Naturalist 4-H Club for two years. While he may not have been a 4-H’er as long as some graduating seniors, he is proof that 4-H has an impact regardless of the time span. Joining in 2019, Ezra was excited and motivated to compete in 4-H Target Shooting Sports. He greatly enjoyed learning from his shooting sports coaches Chip Worrell and Bruce Saltz. His perseverance paid off. Ezra will be representing at the National competition level in June.
Tanner Queen joined the Barnyard Bandits 4-H Club at 8 years old because of his interest in livestock. Because of Tanner’s calm, fun and caring demeanor he became an excellent youth leader, volunteer, and role model as he grew in 4-H. Along with his poultry and livestock showing skills and wins, Tanner was also a member of the Young Naturalist 4-H Club for a time where he learned and competed in environmental competitions. “Over the last 10 years, I have met so many amazing people who have helped me grow and become a more involved and educated member of my community.” Tanner had his own impacts on others as a poultry group leader for the younger 4-H Club members and countless hours given to community service projects.
Gabriella Torres’s 4-H journey began before she had the opportunity to remember it. As a sibling of three older 4-H’ers and a 4-H parent Club leader, Gabbi was attending meetings and activities of the LIT 4-H Club before the “proper 4-H age” of 5 years old. Excelling in projects and programs such as 4-H sewing, nutrition, cooking, and 4-H presentations, Gabbi was also a leader in her 4-H Club and 4-H County Council. “My favorite part of 4-H is the ‘idea culture.’ Everyone’s perspectives are asked for and welcomed. This is a great place to foster youth’s confidence in themselves and learn respect towards the opinions of others and working together to reach common goals.”
Haley Hargus has been a member of the Barnyard Bandits 4-H Club for 12 years. Haley excelled in areas of leadership, public speaking, officer positions on the Club, County, and District levels, and livestock showing and judging. Whatever Haley set her mind on, with the help of her 4-H Club leaders and coaches, she became a force to be reckoned with. She is a former 4-H District Officer and a lifetime member of the NC 4-H Honor Club. Haley learned the value of community and citizenship through the years and the importance of relationships. “I have made so many friends in 4-H and I am blessed to have them. I know I will have these friends for a lifetime.”
Daniela Ayala was a member of the Nebula Navigators 4-H where she learned all about science, different careers, cooking, and was a volunteer for county 4-H events, community service projects, and citizenship opportunities. Daniela was always quick to lend a helping hand and says the most beneficial and impactful experiences of 4-H were the public speaking skills she learned and friendships she developed.
4-H Senior Night was a wonderful evening to recognize, celebrate and be nostalgic of the bittersweet moments of 7 graduating seniors’ 4-H careers.