Dawson County High School sophomore Autumn Callahan recently attended the 89th National 4-H Congress in Atlanta and was one of only 1,100 students invited to the event.
Callahan’s trip started last year when she competed with her 4-H project at the district level. Placing first in the Environmental Science Project, she later traveled to the state contest where she also won.
The state win secured her an invitation to the national event.
Callahan is the first Dawson County 4-H’er in the last 20 years to attend, according to Ian Cowie, 4-H advisor.
“I really enjoyed National Congress,” Callahan said. “Before I left, I set a goal to meet someone from every state. I did that and can even count some new friends from Puerto Rico.”
Callahan was one of 42 Georgia delegates.
The five-day event involved workshops, speakers and community service.
Callahan helped with a lawn raking project in an Atlanta park where 100 rakes were being used at one time.
The theme of the conference was “Accept the Challenge.”
Delegates were challenged every day to set their future stage, be aware of global issues and to serve the folks in their own neighborhood.
“This once in a lifetime experience taught me a lot,” Callahan said. “Besides learning about the great opportunities open to me, I realized that change is possible by what one does in their own community.”
Callahan's 4-H project involved working with county officials to start a recycling program.
Because of her involvement in 4-H, Callahan has set her sights higher.
Future plans include attending college at the University of Georgia plus being a summer 4-H camp counselor. This follows the same path of her older sister, Christina, who worked as a counselor the last three years at two 4-H centers.
4-H is the youth development program of the Dawson County Extension Service. Open to any child between the ages of 9 and 19, being a 4-H member is free.
For more information, call (706) 265-2442.