Seventeen-year old Matthew Bippes, a twelve-year 4-H member, delivered his Senior Prepared Speech at the 2017 Missouri State 4-H Public Speaking Contest. The title of Matthew’s winning speech is “The Psychology of Why 4-H Works.” Matthew shared what makes 4-H effective in developing young people into responsible and successful adults.

“The second principle of 4-H’s positive impact around the globe is the growth mindset,” Matthew said in his speech, “This growth focused learning approach measures progress not on a student’s ability to reach an average benchmark, but rather on achieving a higher result than they previously had been able to.  In 4-H, the objective is to learn the process and experience developing the skill. The award itself isn’t the goal. It’s only a symbol of the invested effort.”

Matthew is the son of Greg and Maria Bippes of Anutt. Seventeen-year old Caitriona Townley won first place for her Senior Dramatic Interpretation, entitled “Oh, So I’m Distant and Abusive for Several Years, and All of a Sudden, I’m not Good Enough for You Anymore?” Caiti’s speech was written by Kirk Pierson.

A Dramatic Interpretation is a memorized oral interpretation of a serious selection of dramatic work. Fifteen-year old Mackenzie Townley was runner-up with her Senior Humorous Interpretation of Walter Ben Hare’s “Sir Hopkins Auditions.”  A Humorous Interpretation is a memorized humorous interpretation of an oral selection.

Both Caiti and Mackenzie have been in 4-H for five years and are members of Evening Star 4-H Club. They are daughters of Ron and Jodi Townley of Saint James, and are homeschooled.

 Contenders, who were from ages eight to eighteen, competed in one of these five categories: prepared speech, technology-assisted speech, extemporaneous speech, dramatic interpretation, and humorous interpretation, in the following divisions: Juniors (ages 8 to 10), Intermediates (ages 11 to 13), and Seniors (ages 14 to 18). Every year, Bradd Anderson, state 4-H youth specialist, encourages all participants to do their best to be successful. The contest was supported with outstanding judges, from all over Missouri, who were experts in public speaking. The 2017 State Public Speaking Contest was held on September 30th on the Missouri University Campus in Columbia.