Invited to compete in 2015 State 4-H Public Presentations Program

FREEHOLD, NJ – Sixteen local 4-H members received excellent marks at the 2015 4-H County Public Presentations hosted by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program of Monmouth County at the County’s Agricultural Building earlier this month.

“These students have worked very hard on their presentations and it is great to see so many qualify to move on to the state competition,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “Students in grades 8 to 13 who received an excellent designation can move on to compete at the state level in June at Rutgers.”

The students that qualified to move on to the state competition are Alexis Richardson and Mari Timney of Tinton Falls; Brooke Levens of Belford; Nicole Marinaro of Oceanport; Rebecca Carmeli-Peslak of Millstone; Owen Conway of Ocean Township; Kymora Clarke, Jill Ruggiero and Collin Roach of Freehold; Alicia Muench and Jillian Haliskoe of Middletown; Gabrielle Kozlowski of Neptune; Faith Bates of Howell; Shauna DiRenizo, McKayla Tyrrell and Hannah Valdes of Freehold.

Thirty-five 4-H members representing over 12 clubs participated in the County competition, giving oral presentations on a variety of subject areas from “National Hockey League: The Rivalry Between the NY Rangers and the NJ Devils” to “What You Need To Know To Go Backpacking.”

To qualify for the County presentations, each participant had to be a registered 4-H member in grades K through 13 (first year out of High School) and have done a presentation at the club level. Second grader, Gianna Tanzi, gave her presentation on “Parts of a Horse.”

“I had a whole lot of fun presenting with my mechanical display horse and am going to bring it with me when I march in the Freehold Memorial Day Parade” said Gianna Tanzi.

The following 4-H members, listed by towns, gave outstanding presentations and were recognize for their accomplishments: Sean and Tyler Levens of Belford; Cole Luterek, Amelia Guinee, ZahraClarke, Shawn Hill, Alyssa Marks of Freehold; Gianna and Jacqueline Tanzi, Giana Rivera, Kayla O’Donnell and Nick Nichols of Howell; Carla Rios of Port Monmouth; Erica and Joshua Todd of Jackson; and Ashlyn Farkes and Jordon Paolello of Edison.

4-H Alumni credit these presentations and their club work for allowing them to take away strong public speaking skills which continue to benefit them throughout their lives.

“I have seen the positive impact these presentations have had on my two children. They gained strong self-confidence and the ability to speak comfortably with both individuals and large groups,” said volunteer judge Gladys Rios.

The volunteer judges were Regina Baireddy, John Connors, Sue Fertig, Joan Lynch, Bob Nicholas, Navya Ravi, Kathy Richardson, Gladys Rios, Sarah Sakowski, and Ellen Simonetti.

The event provides an opportunity for 4-H’ers to compete on the county level with other members from a variety of clubs. The presentations were judged by teams of 4-H volunteers, alumni, educators and Master Gardeners, as audience members watched. Each participant received an excellent, very good, good or Cloverbud ribbon.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station -Cooperative Extension, 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law.

For more information about the Monmouth County 4-H Program call the 4-H Office at

732-431-7260 ext. 7264 or visit the 4-H website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu.