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Maines receives 4-H Gold Star Award

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

You could say that Curtis Maines, a senior at Williamstown High School, is a star.

Actually he’s a 4-H gold star winner, earning top honors in the Kentucky 4-H program this year.

Maines, the son of Ronnie and Brenda Maines, has been involved in 4-H for half his life. Starting when he was 9 years old, he started out working with animals.

“I was passionate about livestock and then discovered  his leadership skills and that I like helping other kids,” Maines said.

The 4-H Gold Star Award is the highest county achievement award and is awarded once in a member’s 4-H career.

Some of the criteria considered include: the member must be at least 15 at the time of application and must have completed at least three years in 4-H, including the current year. The 4-H member must submit a record book and participate in three activities such as educational presentations, citizenship activities, projects, project exhibits, camps, leadership programs and attend state or national 4-H Congress.

The member must have exhibited leadership skills by serving as a 4-H officer or committee chairman (club county, district or state), and/or as a junior or teen leader in an activity or project with or under the supervision of an adult volunteer leader.

Maines’ projects included organizing and presenting a program on cyberbullying, a problem he learned about when he attended a 4-H Issues Conference.

“At the time it was a problem at school and effected a lot of my peers so I felt like I could help the community by bringing awareness to the problem,” Maines said.

Through the years, Maines’ 4-H projects have included 4-H wellness and fitness club, meat, goats, rabbits, sheep, small engines, wood science, 4-H summer camp, LifeSmarts and being a member of the Grant County 4-H Teen Council.

He said being a part of 4-H has taught him “leadership, respect and responsibility.”

“4-H is a lot more than just animals,” he said. “It’s more than grabbing an animal and just showing it at the fair.”

When not involved in a 4-H project, Maines can be found running as part of the Williamstown track team. He’s also a member of WHS Future Farmers of America and a volunteer recruit with the Williamstown Fire Department.

His favorite subject in school is agricultural science. He also enjoys spending time on his family’s Williamstown farm.

His future plans include attending Lincoln Technical School followed by Eastern Kentucky University. He wants to study agriculture and diesel mechanics.

As far as the accolades that came with the 4-H Gold Star award, Maines remained humble.

“I was pretty surprised because there was a lot of competition at the state level and it was a lot of hard work,” he said.