Kane County 4-H member Emily Studt will join other top 4-H members from across the nation for the 93rd National 4-H Congress, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 in Atlanta, GA. Studt, 17, of Elgin, will attend the prestigious event exactly 60 years after her grandfather Gene Schick earned the honor.
Studt earned the respected right to attend National Congress by excelling in 4-H project work, as well as leadership, community service and citizenship, throughout her entire 4-H career.
“Emily is an outstanding 4-H member and a dedicated leader. We are proud to have her represent Kane County and Illinois at National Congress,” said Doris Braddock, 4-H Youth Development Program coordinator. “She shines in multiple project areas, and has proven to be a strong, caring youth leader both at the club and county levels.”
Illinois will be represented at National 4-H Congress by 26 state 4-H award winners, including Studt, who earned her place in Plants and Soils, with work in horticulture and floriculture.
“I’m excited to meet new people, develop new skills, and to take the things I Iearn there, and apply them to rest of my life,” Studt said. “I want to look back and remember this as what 4-H is all about.”
In her decade of 4-H, she also has exceled in the area of Home and Family through child development and clothing and textiles. Studt currently serves as vice president of the Kane County 4-H Ambassadors and president of her 4-H Club.
“It’s been incredible,” Studt said of her leadership experiences with younger youth in her club. “It is my last year in 4-H, and I want to share what I’ve learned with them. I’ve gained so much through 4-H.”
She said she’s learned to try new things and to not give up, as well as important skills like time management and public speaking.
When Studt found out she was chosen for National Congress, she called her grandpa immediately to tell him the big news.
“He’s always been there for us,” she said of Schick. “Dress reviews, the day of our project judging, checking in about Ambassadors, and the (Kane County) Fair is a huge thing. We are there together every day. He’s been a great example.”
Schick, who is in his 54th year on the Kane County Fair Board, said 4-H has been a part of their family for three generations. He said he is proud of his granddaughter’s achievements and leadership skills, and is excited that she will participate in 4-H National Congress.
“It’s going to be an experience you’ll never forget,” Schick said to his granddaughter. “You’re with the elite. You’re among the best of the best in the whole United States. That feeling is something I’ll never forget. Be thankful. You’ll learn something from everyone you talk to there. It’s an honor.”
In Schick’s day, 4-H National Congress, also known as Club Congress, took place in Chicago. He recalls meeting many new people and attending sponsored banquets, educational workshops and motivational lectures. He even found himself dancing on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.”
The 2014 National Congress will feature the premier expert on school-to-work transition, Eric Chester, CNN correspondent Nancy Grace, internationally known songwriter/recording artist and author Dan Clark, and Holocaust survivor Dr. Eugen Schoenfeld.
According to Debra Stocker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H and Youth Development Specialist, “National 4-H Congress offers states an opportunity to provide these outstanding 4-H youth with an expanded educational experience through seminars, community service projects, and tours sponsored by local and national 4-H program donors.”
All of this year’s Congress delegates will participate in special cultural programs during the International Dinner and a night of programming at the Atlanta History Center. Other experiences during National 4-H Congress include educational tours and workshops focusing on team leadership development, the power of youth and more.
National 4-H Congress is conducted by Cooperative Extension Service staff on behalf of the Cooperative Extension System of the state land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.
University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs and research-based information to help Illinois residents improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems.
For more information on the 4-H program in Kane County, contact the office at 630-584-6166 or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/.
SOURCE: Illinois Cooperative Extension news release