ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia 4-H has chosen 62 high-school students for the Georgia 4-H Ambassador Program to represent the organization in the program areas of Healthy Living, STEM, Tech, Wildlife, and Pollinators around the state. Representing 42 Georgia counties, ambassadors were selected through a competitive application process and attended a comprehensive training weekend in June at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.
After intensive subject training during which ambassadors learn about and lead within their chosen disciplines, the students will spend the 2022-23 academic year planning activities to share their knowledge with peers, younger children and adults.
Healthy Living ambassadors will focus on food and nutrition, food access and security, preparing budget-friendly meals and snacks, and general health and well-being.
Pollinator ambassadors teach about the importance of pollinators and easy conservation efforts, sharing activities to build awareness about pollinators and teaching how to take action to help preserve pollinator habitats.
Tech ambassadors work within their communities to increase digital literacy and grow digital skills. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ambassadors provide other youth with opportunities to engage in hands-on STEM projects in their home counties and surrounding areas.
Wildlife ambassadors will become certified Project WILD educators through a national environmental education program coordinated by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Their goal is to teach people in their communities about the importance of wildlife conservation throughout Georgia.
The ambassador program, which launched in 2005 with more than 30 youth working in their communities “to make the best better,” has a rich history of success. Each key area is coordinated by specialists on the Georgia 4-H state staff and 4-H personnel from UGA Cooperative Extension county offices. These adults mentor the youth ambassadors, providing them with applicable and relevant subject knowledge and empowering them to educate others.
“The Georgia 4-H Ambassador Program is unique in that youth get to learn specialized content through an in-depth training experience,” said Kasey Bozeman, UGA Extension 4-H specialist for Georgia 4-H science programs and ambassador program coordinator. “Under the direction of their local 4-H leaders, student ambassadors continue to learn through interviews, tours and research, but they also get to teach others through exhibits, articles and workshops. I’m always amazed to see their creativity and passion shine.”
Healthy Living ambassadors are Shannon Schlegel from Burke County; Dayleigh Beard, Brailyn Boyd, Khanijah Mitchell and Markaliyah Mitchell from Calhoun County; Isaiah Farrow from Cobb County; Anna Cook from Cook County; Jacob Bennett from Grady County; Lily Earle from Madison County; Maci Dawson from Mitchell County; Molly Hooker and Ryan Johnson from Pickens County; Carter Hewitt from Stephens County; Megan Miller from Tattnall County; Bethany Samuel from Tift County; Brittney Bryant and Grace Holt from Toombs County; Olivia Walker from Union County; Christopher Kuhbander from Ware County; and Lori Bell from Wayne County.
The STEM ambassadors are Hannah Hunt and Erica McLocklin from Barrow County; Lucy Evans from Bartow County; Lee Jay from Ben Hill County; Madison Hudgins from Bryan County; James Schlegel from Burke County; Aarsheya Gunjal and Venya Gunjal from Cobb County; Kyra Burmeister from Liberty County; Rae McBride from Oglethorpe County; Micah Newton from Pickens County; Hailey Perez from Pulaski County; Carolyn Thomas from Putnam County; Leila D. Rimes from Tift County; and Bailey Hutchins from Toombs County.
Tech ambassadors are Quinn Stoy from Bulloch County; Chanthony Andrews Jr. from Glynn County; Hannah Jones from Gordon County; Jeremiah Florence from Mitchell County; Kingston Ryals from Toombs County; and Mary Laura Tippett and Tami Gonzalez from Toombs County.
Wildlife ambassadors are Katy Stinson and Kiwi Waller from Barrow County; Grant Shuman from Bryan County; Catherine Puchala from Bulloch County; Emmaline Cunningham and Tony Gray from Burke County; Presley Douglas from Candler County; Landon Fay from Cherokee County; Connor Watson from Oconee County; Reese Davis from Pickens County; and Addy Winchester from Pulaski County.
Pollinator ambassadors are Aubrianna Stewart from Bryan County; Agatha Grimes from Candler County; Lesley Nichols from Fayette County; Zoey Parks from Jasper County; Makayla Nash from Liberty County; Mia Burnett from Mitchell County; Sophia Scott from Pickens County; Esteban Contreras Jr. from Pulaski County; Nortrayvious Brown from Terrell County; Emma Barber from Ware County; and Landon McDonald from Toombs County.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 225,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities.