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4-H students from Butler County pushed out of ‘comfort zone’ with trip

The Butler County Township Association raised about $17,000 late last month at their 31st annual golf outing to benefit 4-H kids.

The association has given out more than 116 college and 128 leadership scholarships through the years. Every year they give out six $1,000 college scholarships and the remainder of the proceeds are spent sending deserving 4-H students to the National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C., according to Liberty Twp. Trustee Christine Matacic, who co-chairs the golf outing.

“Years ago they started it and it was to raise funds so we could start helping the leaders of tomorrow, who are the teenagers of today, in getting a step up in life,” Matacic said.

The students went to the nation’s capital in May and learned everything about leadership, citizenship and government — like how a bill becomes a law — visited memorials and met with Sen. Rob Portman.

RELATED: Butler County Fair Board might get funds to complete building

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The 4-H website describes the conference as “the pinnacle experience in 4‑H citizenship, providing the opportunity for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, their nation and their world.”

Matacic said since many of the Butler County townships are still very rural — including Liberty Twp. — and have a lot of 4-H youth participating, the association thought it was a worthy cause to sponsor all those years ago and still today.

“It’s kind of a cool thing with these kids,” Matacic said adding it was “heartwarming” to hear the students tell about their adventures and experiences, doing and seeing things they probably wouldn’t otherwise have had an opportunity to do.

Madison Pasch, 17 and a junior at Lakota East High School, was one of the eight students selected to make the D.C. trip this year. She said she learned a lot during her week-long trip, about the country and how it works, about how different other county’s and fairs are throughout Ohio and other states, as well and about herself.

She said she was “honored” to be chosen to represent the county and state at the conference and it brought her out of her “comfort zone” allowing her to “open up” and meet new people.

“I learned how our country works but also how our country came to be. I also learned how to be better at leadership and communication,” Pasch said. “I made amazing friendships and memories with people from all over Ohio.

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