Press Releases

Somerset County 4-H Members Capture Top Awards at State Public Speaking Contest


BRIDGEWATER, NJ -Twenty-eight New Jersey 4-H members received Outstanding Presentation Awards at the State 4-H Public Presentations Contest held  at the Cook/Douglass Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Over 180 4-H members from throughout the state took part in this event which offers qualified 4-H members an advanced Public Speaking experience.  To qualify for this State 4-H Event, 4-H members must be in the eighth through 13th grade and have received an excellent rating at their County 4-H Public Speaking Contest.  Judging is done by educators, 4-H volunteers, faculty and staff.

The 2017 Outstanding 4-H Presenter Award winners included  Henrique Alves, Union County; Teresa Buzzoni, Somerset County; Roshni Dhanasekar, Somerset County; Abigail Eachus, Salem County; Marit Edwards-Ronning, Burlington County; Rebecca Edwards-Ronning, Burlington County; Ben Fernandez, Somerset County; Zachary Ferreira, Somerset County; Julia Gindville, Cape May County; Shannon Glynn, Middlesex County; Ashwin Gokhale, Middlesex County and Maggie Kelly, Hunterdon County.

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Also honored were Maya Konefal, Monmouth County; Corynn Lewis, Hunterdon County; Olivia Marion, Passaic; Sophia Marion, Passaic County; Hannah McCray, Somerset County; Kate McHale, Somerset County; Ashley Murphy, Salem County; Ayomiposi Oluwakuyide, Union County; Eliza Rothenburger, Somerset County; Noah Rothenburger, Somerset County; Keegan Sahlin, Hunterdon County; Avery Schaefer, Hunterdon County; Brittany Smith, Warren County; Bridgett Sona, Somerset County; Rachel Vence, Warren County; and David Wolverton, Middlesex County.

“Public speaking is one of many life skills that 4-H members learn, develop and enhance during their involvement in 4-H club, county, state and national positive youth development experiences.  4-H Alumni site public speaking as the most valuable skill gained while in 4-H.” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, 4-H Agent, Department of 4-H Youth Development.

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 New Jersey 4-H Program visit the 4-H website at contact the State 4-H office (848) 932-3700 or email

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Franklin Cardenas-Hernandez, 34, was charged with simple assault in the incident March 11.

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