Public Info

Union County Student Wins Statewide 4-H Award

Rachel Lyons, Chairperson of the Rutgers 4H Youth Development Department, presents a Best in Room award to Victor Heras of Rahway.

Union County, NJ – Union County resident Victor Heras has received a statewide award out of more than 125 contestants in the New Jersey 4-H Public Speaking Contest, held earlier this month at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Mr. Heras, a Rahway high school student, won a Best in Room title for his presentation, “Classical Guitar.”

Mr. Heras was one of three Union County 4-H members who qualified to participate in the statewide contest, for students in grades 8-12. The other two Union County participants in the contest were Jack Morel of Fanwood, who spoke on, “Building an Electric Guitar,” and Anu Oluwakuydie of Union Township, who spoke on the “The Amendments of the Constitution.”

“Union County 4-H provides students with an opportunity to explore their passion in life, share their knowledge, and develop important life skills,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “On behalf of the Freeholder Board, congratulations to Mr. Heras on his award, and thank you to all of our 4-H members for their enriching contributions to our community.”

Union County 4-H clubs are open to all students in grades 1-12 and are grouped according to grade level. Teens can also continue the program into their post-high school year.

The clubs meet during the school year. They focus on popular topics from cooking and archery to pet care, fashion design and STEM. Some 4-H clubs also cover a variety of subjects. Each club has a volunteer adult leader who helps the students organize their meetings and activities.

Students can also design their own topic and work with a 4-H club leader to develop their activities during the school year.

The 4-H program is part of a county-based, national youth development network under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. First launched in the early 20th century as a program for rural youth, today 4-H helps all students across the U.S. practice foundational skills including teamwork, organization, public speaking, and involvement in the community.

For information about enrolling in a Union County 4-H club, call Union County 4-H Agent James Nichnadowicz at 908-654-9854 (ext. 3) or email Clubs are organized each September during an open house event, where students can meet the club leaders in person and sign up.

Union County 4-H is a program of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and is run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. It is supported in part by the Freeholder Board with offices in the Union County Complex in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East.

For more information on all Union County Extension programs, including 4-H, Master Gardeners, and Master Tree Stewards, visit For more information about New Jersey 4-H, visit

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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 all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

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