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Heather Powell will represent

state’s youth in nation’s capitol

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

March 31, 2001 10 PM

A Pike Liberal Arts School junior will represent Alabama at the National 4-H Congress in Washington D.C. this week.

Heather Powell left Saturday for the Congress along with three other representatives who make up the Alabama 4-H delegation. In Washington D.C., they will be joined by more than 400 representatives from all other states who will work together to bring attention to issues that concern America’s youth and discuss their changing role in the global community.

The focus of National 4-H Congress 2001 is "Building a Global Community,

A Blueprint for Action."

Heather said she is looking forward representing Alabama and Pike County at the national youth conference.

"You have to make application to be a representative and two boys and two girls are chosen," she said. "I really didn’t think I had much of a chance because I’m not on the state council and I’m a junior. That was a disadvantage for me."

Heather sent in her application and then pushed it to the back of her mind.

Heather’s thoughts were with her grandmother who was gravely ill.

"I had not even thought about applying for the 4-H Congress in a long time," Heather said. "One day I was checking my e-mail and I had a message saying, ‘Congratulations, you have been selected as a representative to National 4-H Congress!’ I was surprised and very excited. "

Heather cannot remember when she wasn’t involved in 4-H. Her mother, Tammy, is the coordinator of the Pike County Extension System, so she has grown up with 4-H. The opportunities and advantages of 4-H have been many and Heather said she has benefited greatly from the program.

Being a representative to the National 4-H Congress is just an opportunity, it’s a great honor.

"I will be exposed to many different ideas and meet many people from all over the county," she said "I know it will be a good learning experience for me. And, I know I will also have a lot of fun."

Each representative will be involved in a focus group. Heather chose a group that will be exploring ways to portray youth in a

positive light in the media.

"Many times the media does not show us in a positive way," she said. "We hear reports of robberies, drugs, shootings and other acts of violence involving teens, but we don’t hear enough about the good things we do. We are fortunate in Troy that our newspaper and radio station do report the positive about young people."

Heather will also be a member of the operations committee. She will work with the visual newsletter that will report the happenings at the conference.

"We will meet with our representatives and senators and visit some of the historic places in Washington," she said. "I’m really looking forward to the Congress and to sharing my experience with others when I get home."