RARITAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Each year, thousands of volunteers in New Jersey donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the nation who will be spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 7–13.

In January, the Hunterdon County 4-H Association honored Amanda Kovacs, a leader with the Round Valley Riders at the 2018 Leader of the Year.

Kovacs began her 4-H career in the Round Valley Riders and after she aged out she immediately became a leader. The 2017-18 4-H year was her 11th year of volunteer service.

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During her leader experience, she has always made herself available to assist at 4-H events. She loves to fundraise for the program and she has a knack for receiving donations. Kovacs is a vital part of the county presentations and record book judging. She has assisted other clubs with providing record book workshops as well as assisted with judging of project awards. She is on the county 4-H Awards committee.

Kovacs has put together tricky tray fundraisers for clubs, aside from the Round Valley Riders.

On the state level she has served as a chaperone for Citizenship Washington Focus, a program in which teen members spend a week in Washington, D.C. She also judges at the state presentations contest.

More than 2,700 adult volunteers have served as club leaders, project leaders, resource volunteers, fair and/or event volunteers, and judges throughout New Jersey during the past year.

"Volunteers are the backbone of the 4‑H program. They provide the guidance and support that helps 4‑H members in grades K–13 (one year out of high school) develop confidence and valuable life skills", says Jeannette Rea Keywood, State 4‑H Agent, Department of 4‑H Youth Development.

Volunteers spend numerous hours working on tasks, such as assisting with 4‑H events; organizing club activities; coordinating special interest programs; conducting workshops and events; helping children with 4‑H projects; or leading a community service project.

For more information on how you can become involved in 4‑H, contact the 4‑H office in the county in which you reside or visit the website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu.

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