Sampson County Cooperative Extension honored 4-H members for their contributions in the program and throughout the region during the 2020 Achievement Night.
During the event, held at the Sampson County Agri-Expo Center, Kaylee Lackey was named the Junior 4-H’er of the Year and Kaya Kusmierczuk, was named the Senior 4-H’er of the Year.
Jeramie West was the guest speaker. She is the Onslow County Volunteer of the Year and one of North Carolina’s top 10 horse trainer. Among her many accolades, she was the past president of the Southeast District 4-H Horse Council and board member for the N.C. State Fair Youth Division. While presenting many positive messages related to 4-H and its history, she encouraged adult volunteers to let youths become leaders. She added that the program founded in 1902 in Clark County, Ohio, provides a family-like atmosphere as well.
“A lot of kids school feel like they don’t belong anywhere,” West said. “They don’t belong to a group, the feel like they don’t fit in and in their family, they sometimes don’t get the attention they need.
“But when you come to 4-H, you belong to something,” she said. “You belong to something where people want you there and everybody there is part of your same group. You belong to something much bigger than just your little world.”
Some of the examples of students making an impact is the Cookie Clover Scouts contacting lawmakers to improve laws to helps handicapped drivers and the Juntos Club raising money to build a soccer field.
Iris Lucas, a member and volunteer of 4-H for 79 years was acknowledged by Eileen Coite, director of the Sampson County Extension Office. Lucas was a 4-H program assistance for 18 years. Her daughter, Janice Edwards, shared one of her pins from her participation in the 1960 for projects related to leadership, health and recreation.
The following 4-H’ers, volunteers, and supporters were also recognized for their achievements for 2019.
Sponsor/Supporter Recognition: Cape Fear Farm Credit, Foxmoore Farms, JDS Advertising, Prestage Farms, Smithfield Foods, Sampson County Master Gardeners, United Way.
Volunteer Leader Recognition: Vivian L. Rowe, new volunteer; Leslie Matthis, 2 years; CP Davis, 2 years; Jackie Davis, 3 years; Rose Lee, 6 years; Linda Jewell Carr, 7 years; Kathy Rivera, 8 years; Rob Richardson, 9 years; Kim Lackey, 10 years; and Katherine Davis, 15 years.
Cookie Clover Scouts (4-H Club of the Year): Kim Lackey, Rose Lee, Madison Lackey, Kaya Kusmierczuk, Kayle Lackey, Alannah Cain, Amber Lackey, Anna Warren, Madison Strickland, Genesis.
Every Buddies Kids Club: Libbie Best, Jewell Carr, Ivey Marshall, Logan Best , MacKenzie Carter, Kaitlyn Williamson, Taylor Blanchard , Nathan Hardison, Marissa Williamson, James Carr, Patrick Hardison.
Hippity Hop 4-H Rabbit Club: Rob Richardson, Destiny Davis, Amber Lackey, Kaylee Lackey, Gabriel Moser, Elizabeth Vaughan, Colin Foster, and Madison Lackey.
Juntos (Clinton High School / Sampson Middle): Advisor Kathy Rivera, Middle School — Erick Padilla, president; Isaac Rivera, vice president; Nancy Noyola, secretary; High School — Ivan Zelaya / Jessica Llamas, presidents; Jessica Llamas / Abigail Rivera, vice presidents; Jasmine Noyola / Nancy Noyola, secretaries; Abigail Rivera, event planner. Seniors — Jessica Llamas, Obed Gallegos, Eduin Munoz Ramirez, Ivan Ponce, and Ivan Zelay.
Juntos (Hobbton High): Advisor Diana Uriata, Litzy Lascares-Farias, president; Oscar Najera-Acevedo, vice president; Angel Diaz, secretary; and Dante Mendez Feliciano, senior.
Majestic Riders: Megan Merritt, Kaya Kusmierczuk, Horse Bowl; Jordan Hawley; Haley Matthis, Horse Bowl, Kylie Peterson, Horse Bowl, Peyton Matthis, Horse Bowl, and Savannah Watson, Horse Bowl.
Prime Cuts: Leslie Matthis, Aubrey Herring, Annsley Herring, Peyton Matthis , Meredith Herring, Hannah Smith, Stephen Carter (Poultry Pin), Haley Matthis.
Youth at Large: Karol Kusmierczuk, Loralei Bellanger.
Achievement Awards: Green Achievement — Madison Lackey, Alannah Cain, Haley Matthis, Stephen Carter, Madison Strickland, Anna Warren. Bronze Award —Peyton Matthis. Silver Award —Kaylee Lackey, Loralei Bellanger.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.