Three Bartow County 4-H’ers have nabbed a state-level role as ambassadors for the next year.
Woodland High junior Jaylee Kilgo, home-schooled sophomore Brianna Lee and Adairsville High freshman Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ogles were chosen from among more than 150 applicants for the Georgia 4-H Ambassador Program, a one-year commitment in which 4-H’ers attend the Ambassador Training Summit, engage in self-directed learning, develop individualized plans for sharing their knowledge and report their ambassador activities on a quarterly basis.
“There is only a limited number of ambassadors chosen each year statewide so we are very proud to have three chosen from Bartow,” 4-H agent Kim Payne said.
“I am excited to have three youth take on these leadership roles,” 4-H agent Allison Perkins said. “They will bring enthusiasm in educating others.”
Through an application process each year, students are selected for one of four specific ambassador tracks: Healthy Living, Pollinators, Ready 4 Life and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Jaylee, 16, was chosen as an ambassador for the new Ready 4 Life track while Lizzie, 14, and Brianna, 15, were selected as Healthy Living ambassadors.
“The goal of the 4-H Ambassador Program is to prepare 4-H’ers to become knowledgeable in a specific content area so that they can return to their counties and share what they’ve learned with others,” Payne said. “After their training, the programs and information that they will then share is not limited to just the 4-H club members. They can coordinate activities for anyone/group in the county.”
Perkins added she is “excited to learn more about the newest track, Ready for Life.”
As ambassadors, the three teenagers, who were notified of the honor by email in mid-July, have to commit to one year of service, complete six learning activities and six sharing activities related to their subject area and provide quarterly reports.
Jaylee, a 4-H’er for seven years, will be asked to share the basics of such topics as professionalism, resume preparation, interview skills, positive first impressions, basic interactions with local government, social etiquette and entrepreneurship.
“I wanted to become a 4-H ambassador because I wanted to become more involved in 4-H, and I also wanted to learn new information about an area I am not familiar with,” she said. “I had also been informed by numerous 4-H’ers on how great the ambassador program is.”
The daughter of Mike and Lori Kilgo of Euharlee said it was “truly an honor to be chosen as a Ready 4 Life 4-H ambassador.”
“Being selected to be a 4-H ambassador isn't just an honor; it's a privilege,” she said. “I was so excited to be chosen out of so many applicants. The Ready 4 Life ambassador track is an area where I will be able to learn and educate others on proper ways to prepare for future jobs so I cannot wait to start my year of service as a 4-H ambassador.”
Brianna said she is “really excited to be a 2020-2021 Healthy Living ambassador.”
“I think this is a great opportunity for me to branch out,” she said. “I am honored to be selected as one of the members across the state and thankful for my 4-H staff for supporting me.”
As Healthy Living ambassadors, Lizzie and Brianna, who are both starting their fifth year in 4-H, will promote healthy nutrition and physically active lifestyles along with strategies for team building and working with youth.
Preparing healthy snacks and meals, learning about community gardens, participating in fun exercises and games and riding the smoothie bike will be some of the activities involved in the training.
“As a health ambassador, I want to show people not only can you help your body by living healthy but also your mind through being a healthy you,” Lizzie said. “Not necessarily what the world or people think is healthy but what you feel healthy is.”
Brianna, daughter of Kimberley and Christopher Lee of Cartersville, said she applied for the health track because of the “many things they teach.”
“This year, I was selected as a Healthy Living ambassador, where we learn about healthy food choices, food access and budgeting and cooking skills,” she said. “As someone who’s been recently cooking for my family, this will be an excellent opportunity to learn about my new hobby and show other children and teenagers in my community about the new skills I learn.”
She has a couple of ideas on what she would like to learn during her one-year term.
“Because of COVID-19 and the restrictions of many groups of people, an online cooking class has been put into my mind as an idea I would like to try out,” she said. “Another thing I’m willing to try out is a food budgeting class, as I like to be organized and really like math.”
Daughter of Josh and Jena Ogles of Cartersville, Lizzie said her desire to be part of the program stemmed from her wanting to “help others see that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.”
“Being selected as a 4-H ambassador for Healthy Living was a boost to my confidence in that I can achieve dreams and goals I set my mind to,” she said. “I will be able to help more 4-H’ers reach their goals.”
Because the Georgia 4-H Ambassador Program is a state program which has trainings that vary from year to year, Payne said she and Perkins “do not know what the trainings will involve and what activities they will bring back to share with our county, but we look forward to seeing what these 4-H’ers will do.”
She does know, however, that their ambassadors will participate in the first virtual Ambassador Training Summit – thanks to COVID-19 canceling the usual weekend of in-person trainings – via Zoom on Saturday, Aug. 15.
Last year, Bartow County had two representatives, Bethany and Gabriel Craven, chosen as STEM ambassadors, according to Perkins.
“We are proud of this year’s ambassadors and also the ones we have had in the past,” Payne said. “Our past ambassadors represented Bartow well, and we know these new ones will also.”