IMPERIAL — The Imperial County 4-H Youth Organization held its 2015-16 Achievement Night at T.L. Waggoner Elementary School Tuesday.
“This evening we gave out 270 awards to youth members from around the whole county, from Calipat all the way to down Calexico, and we wanted to give that incentive to the kids to encourage them to continue to strive for better,” explained Shanna Fitzurka, a 4-H coordinator. “A lot of the awards surrounded record books. They take on a project, but what’re they doing to take notes? Or record their process of learning so that they can apply it later? That’s the goal, to reward them for doing the record books.”
“In addition to the project awards, which was cultural arts and all the animal groups, we also gave out public speaking awards, community service awards, and high teen council awards,” Fitzurka said. “We also gave out senior achievements, junior achievements, and then we also gave out some distinguished honors, which was the Agricultural & Family award and the Science & Leisure awards.”
Hosted by the Imperial County 4-H 2015-16 All Stars, Southwest Valley, and Star Route 4-H clubs, the 2015-16 Achievement Night recognized and awarded many local 4-H youth members. The Imperial County Record Book Awards were presented to the primary, junior, and novice groups.
“Imperial County 4-H has 112 years of history and every year there’s been some type of Achievement Night or some type of way to honor the youth and to encourage them to keep on achieving,” said Fitzurka. “Mr. Mike Kelly, who is with Board of Supervisors, along with all the Board of Supervisors have been very, very supportive. Each year, one of them comes and gives out the awards and makes sure that they’re here to give their thanks for how hard the youth work.”
Scholarships such as the Imperial County 4-H Leaders Council Scholarship and the Mary Harmon 4-H Scholarship were also presented at the event. The 2015-16 Imperial County All Star group, which consisted of Shelby Dill, Mikalla McFadden, Sarah Jessica Ochoa, Camille Silva, and Josh Trimm, gave a “Year in Review” presentation and each member gave speeches about their year spent in the All Star group. An introduction of the 2016-17 Imperial County All Star team was also made. To conclude the night, the Imperial County 4-H Ambassadors’ Torch was passed on to the incoming 2016-17 All Star Team.
“This is my third year working with 4-H,” commented Fitzurka. “The first year, we probably had 50 people. This year, we set up about 100 chairs because that’s how many we had, and we had to actually go and set up another 50 chairs. We had probably about 175 people in the room today, so it was phenomenal. I think it was a great success. With 118 degrees temperature and still seeing everyone in the room, I was very excited that people took the time. In addition to that, this is the third time the venue has changed in one month, so for people to be able to be flexible and still make it here, that was awesome.”