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New Mexico State University

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4-H Essay Contest Winners Named

LAS CRUCES--Three New Mexico 4-H members have received awards for their creativity and writing skills in the 1998 4-H Essay Contest.

4-H members across the state in the novice, junior and senior age groups submitted essays about their experiences in 4-H and what they have learned from their participation in the organization.

Kara Center, of Santa Fe, received first place in the novice division with her essay on her year of experiences in 4-H. The five-year member of the Turquoise Trail Roadrunners Club is active in livestock and cooking projects. She especially enjoyed the New Mexico flavor project, because she learned New Mexican recipes and toured some historical sites.

Center also participated in several community service activities, including making food boxes for needy families and serving a dinner for children at the Alice King Family Center in the Family Hospitality Room at the New Mexico State Penitentiary. She will receive free registration to 4-H Electric Camp in June. Julie Campbell, of Artesia, placed first in the junior division. The 13-year-old said 4-H will help her pursue her dreams. Through 4-H, she learned to be a leader rather than a follower and to better her community. She said her favorite 4-H activities include preparing and showing her rabbits and goats at the fair.

She also has learned responsibility. "You just can't give up in the middle of taking care of your animals when you're tired of them, they still need to be fed and exercised," Campbell said. She and a friend will receive a free trip to 4-H Teen Get Away in March.

Cynthia Sandoval, 14, of Cerillos wrote the first-place essay in the senior age division. Sandoval said 4-H means something different to each person. "We are 4-H, and 4-H is what we choose to make of it," she wrote.

She said that 4-H is not just about the projects completed. It also is about what it learned and gained from the experience. "4-H is the best thing I think I could be involved in to prepare myself for the future," Sandoval said.

She will receive a free trip for herself and a friend to 4-H Senior Leadership Retreat in January.