4-H stars heading for state competition

Published 9:04 pm Monday, April 22, 2013

WORSLEY WIN: Keyontae Worsley took a gold in the environmental sciences category at the Northeast District 4-H Activity Day. Top winners will go on to the state competition in June.

WORSLEY WIN: Keyontae Worsley took a gold in the environmental sciences category at the Northeast District 4-H Activity Day. Top winners will go on to the state competition in June.


Eighteen medalists from local 4-H clubs have won the honor of competing at the state competition in June.

The regional competition — the Northeast District 4-H Activity Day — was held last month at Elizabeth City’s College of the Albemarle and active members of Bath Creek, Talented Dreamers and Up the Creek 4-H clubs along with members at large walked away with 23 medals for oral presentations on the subjects of their choice.

“We have 21 counties in the district, so to win here is a big deal,” said Louise Hinsley, extension agent and 4-H youth development coordinator at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service center in Beaufort County.

Judges picked bronze, silver and gold winners from 231 presentations that best demonstrated the skillset required for public speaking. While the kids may be coached on how to start, build and wrap-up a good speech, the topics are of their own choosing, according to Hinsley.

“We’re all about them learning the life skill of public speaking,” said
Hinsley. “They get motivated by what they choose to speak about — their hobbies, interests or anything they want to learn about. They want to talk about all kinds of things.”

And if the kids aren’t up for public speaking, they have the option to cook instead: in the 11- to 13-year-old division, David Gomez took the silver medal in outdoor cooking, for a turkey barbecue he cooked up for the judges.

“He used a turkey chop, marinated them in a recipe he had and then he grilled them,” Hinsley said. “And they were delicious.”

While Gomez had up to two hours to complete his presentation, which included telling judges about North Carolina’s poultry industry and the nutritious value of his dish, other competitors had between five and 12 minutes to wow the judges with their oral presentations.

Those going on to the state competition are the gold medalists in the 9 and 10 year old division, and the gold and silver medalists in the older divisions.

Competing in the 9 and 10 year old division were Dezmon Albritton (Public Speaking, gold medalist), Shanta’ja Brown (Open Class), Kendra Roasario (Electric, gold), Juan Rosario (Bugs and Bees, gold), Sherfield Smith (Arts and Communication, gold), Ashley Woolard (Horse, gold), Charon Worsley (Safety, silver) and Mahlayia Worsley (Hospitality, Etiquette and Social Graces, bronze).

In the 11- to 13-year-old division the following competed: D.J. Corey (Electricity, silver), Tommy Ebron (Public speaking, silver), David Gomez (Outdoor cooking, silver), John Hinsley (Science and Technology, gold), Autumn Kraft (Forestry and Wildlife, silver), A’Precious Norfleet (Foods and Nutrition, silver medalist), Stacey Norfleet (Family and Consumer Sciences, silver), Kaleb Davis (Open Class/Martial Arts, gold), Carla Rosario (Careers and Entrepreneurship, silver), Deaja Smith (Health and Fitness, gold), Breonce Thompson (Bugs and Bees, bronze), Hunter Williams (Foods and Nutrition, silver), Ashlynn Woolard in Horse, and Keyontae Worsley (Environmental Sciences, gold).

Winners in the 14- to 18-year-old division were Roberto Gomez (Safety, bronze) Rod’tedria Paige (Environmental Science, silver) and Aeryalle Williams (Health and Fitness, gold).

In the youngest category, 4-H Cloverbud (grades kindergarten through third), Caleb Worsley, Christina Coward, Sydney Johnson, Rod’Dedria Paige, Ishayla Wise and Keziah Worsley participated.

Hinsley said winners will spend the next few months practicing their presentations for the final round of competition, set to happen on June 22 at North Carolina State University.

“We get score sheets back and we go over what they felt were their strengths and weaknesses,” Hinsley explained.

Hinsley also encourages the kids to get out and give their presentations to clubs that offer programs.

“We love for them to go out to civic groups and present their program,” Hinsley said. “It’s not so easy to do it during school hours, but we can work with the schools.”

While the practice helps them prepare, Hinsley said it also instills a more valuable lesson to the 4-H kids: teaching them how to be civic-minded, and volunteers, for the betterment of their community.

For more information about 4-H members being a civic group guest speaker, contact N.C. Cooperative Extension Service at the Beaufort County Center at 252-946-0111 and ask for Erin Massie or Louise Hinsley.