FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Hundreds of students from across the state are on the University of Arkansas campus for this year's 4-H State O-Rama.
On Wednesday (July 24) attendees visited booths and started planning for their future at the college and career fair. This is just one of the many events 4-H has for students this week.
"It's not just about showing animals, it is so much more than that," said Raegan Grubbs.
Grubbs grew up a "4-H'er" and is now an intern for the organization.
"This organization helped me to become the person I am today and to be able to gain that confidence for myself, to be a leader, to speak fluently to other 4-H'ers and to be an advocate for this organization," Grubbs said.
Throughout the week, students take part in many competitions ranging from tractor driving to public speaking.
4-H Event Coordinator Pricilla Scott-Thomas says it is a busy week for all of those in attendance.
"We have over 40 activities that they will be participating in, and another thing we are going to do is basically elect our officers this week as well," Scott-Thomas said.
Scott-Thomas says the goal of 4-H is to provide life skills and get participants motivated for college.
"When our kids come on campus they are like 'oh my gosh we are on the U of A campus' but then when they get to compete or participate in our conference they know 'hey I can go to U of A or I can go to any college campus and survive,' and plus we are doing some awesome activities and opportunities for them as well," Scott-Thomas said.
After watching her two older sisters participate in the program and joining herself, 15-year-old Emma Gardner is attending State O-Rama for the first time. She says she is thankful for the impact the program has made on her life.
"It's helped me grow as a person and helped me overcome fear and make me more well-rounded for the future and what is to come," Gardner said.
Wednesday night, attendees will be eating dinner with donors. The rest of the week, they will hear from key-note speakers and will elect their new state officials.
The event ends Saturday (July 27), and one student will go home with the Governor's Award.
The Governor's Award is a very prestigious award given to a 4-H’er who exhibits the qualities of an outstanding member. Those qualities being shown through various aspects of leadership and service within their membership to the 4-H organization. After an interview with him and state officials, the winner is chosen. It’s the highest award a 4-H member can receive.