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Lydia Connell, a member of Tift County 4-H and Tiftarea Academy graduate, was selected as the 2020 Dean’s Award recipient for the Georgia 4-H program.

TIFTON — Lydia Connell, a member of Tift County 4-H and Tiftarea Academy graduate, was selected as the 2020 Dean’s Award recipient for the Georgia 4-H program.

The 4-H Dean’s Awards, which are very competitive and one of the highest honors Georgia 4-H members can earn, provide Georgia 4-H’ers the chance to showcase their talent, hard work, and commitment to their community. The award is presented every year in each of the following five main project areas: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (including STEM); Civic Engagement and Citizenship; Family and Consumer Sciences; William “Bill” Edwards Award for Communications and the Arts; and James Harris Award for Leadership. First place winners receive Master 4-H’er status, a $500 scholarship, and recognition at the Georgia 4-H Day at the Capitol.

Connell was selected as the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (and STEM) project area Dean’s Award winner.

Competitors submit a cumulative portfolio, much like a resume, highlighting their accomplishments from throughout their 4-H career. The portfolios are judged by project area experts, and high-scoring submissions are invited to participate in a separately-judged interview session. This year, the finalist interview sessions were conducted in a virtual setting due to pandemic restrictions, giving youth the chance to gain interview skills and experience with online conferencing.

“Lydia has been a dedicated Tift County 4-H member since she was five,” said Ashley Carroll, 4-H Extension Agent for Tift County. “Her 4-H projects have included almost everything Georgia 4-H has to offer. This mastery is in addition to her others in poultry judging, horsemanship, dairy quiz bowl, and the her equine safety demonstration at project achievement. Lydia has also participated in many regional and national 4-H events. Youth take pride in the completion of a Dean’s Awards portfolio because it represents years of dedication and hard work, meaningful contributions to one’s community, and considerable personal growth and development.”

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