Donaldson wins 4-H Holiday Card Contest for third year in a row

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Thirteen-year-old Ashlyn Donaldson of Hampton is quickly making a name for herself.

Along with being the president of the 4-H Club at Henry County Middle School and representing the county at numerous competitions, her artistic abilities have once again earned her statewide honors.

Ashlyn Donaldson holds up her winning entries from the last three 4-H Holiday Card Contests. Special photo

Donaldson recently won the Georgia 4-H Foundation’s Holiday Card Contest, which is open to 4-H members in grades 5-12. Her winning entry will be used for holiday cards which are printed and sent to 4-H donors in Georgia.

This year marks Donaldson’s third straight victory in the annual contest. She says while others have taken notice of her talents, she didn’t expect to win.

“I was really just trying to express my creativity all three times, so it was kind of surprising to me that I had won for the last three years,” said Donaldson. “Winning the competition helped me build my confidence in becoming a better artist.”

Donaldson, who hopes to be a veterinarian one day, enjoys pop art, drawing and painting, says her interest in art was born when she was about five years old. The inspiration for her artistic passion, she says, came when she got her first coloring book from her mother.

“She was always training me to color inside the lines, and it helped me to develop my love for art over the years,” noted Donaldson.

As a result of Donaldson’s continued artistic success, the Georgia 4-H Foundation recently invited her to create art for other 4-H greeting cards that are sent to donors and supporters throughout the year. Donaldson says she is grateful for the opportunity to use her talents in a way that benefits 4-H.

“I didn’t realize that my art was recognized so highly through 4-H,” she said. “Being noticed is an awesome experience. It helps me give back to the community and to give to those I love so much through the 4-H organization.”

Laura Garrett is the 4-H agent for the University of Georgia Extension Office in McDonough. Garrett voiced high praise for Donaldson, both as a person and in her artistic endeavors.

“Ashlyn is super creative, very talented, and just an amazing artist,” said Garrett. “It’s evident in her work. Her work just catches your attention. We’re quite proud and excited to be able to provide a means through which she can display her talent. She’s just a precious young lady, and it’s a treat for us to get to work with her and have her as a part of our program. We have so many amazing young people in our program that we’re so proud of, and fortunate to work with. In this particular program, Ashlyn happens to be the shining star.”

For more information on 4-H, visit henry.