By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
With four weeks in Austria and Germany pursuing equestrian training under her belt and numerous other achievements this year, Callisburg High School senior Maegan Fleming was the recipient of the Mack Maxwell $500 scholarship presented by the Gainesville Lion’s Club at the Wednesday meeting.
In applying for the scholarship, Fleming’s accomplishments and endeavors were reviewed by scholarship judges who were in agreement that she was a worthy recipient of the award.
Fleming, a member of the Callisburg Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Callisburg 4-H, received the highest award offered in each organization this past year.
The State Lone Star FFA Degree is awarded to individuals who have been active FFA members for at least two years, completed at least four semesters of agricultural science at or above the ninth grade level, maintained a supervised agricultural experience program (SAE), invested significant time and money in their SAE, demonstrated their leadership skills and shown a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above.
In addition to the FFA award, the Gold Star Award is the highest county achievement award given only once in a member’s 4-H career. The award is presented to the most deserving young people age 15 years or older with a minimum of three years in 4-H. Three different projects must be completed in the following areas: educational presentations, citizenship activities, projects, project exhibits, camps, leadership labs, public relations and other fundraising or exchange programs. Leadership must be demonstrated in community service projects.
Fleming is the most recent recipient out of three generations in her family who have all received both awards including her father, Gainesville chief of police Steven Fleming. To receive both awards is rarely achieved, but apparently a family legacy for young Fleming.
Through a power point presentation for the Lion’s Club members, Fleming brought to life her recent trip to Europe where she participated in western pleasure equestrian events on registered quarter horses.
“It was a wonderful trip and I hope I get to go again next year,” she said. “Besides the horses, it was very educational to see all of the beautiful architecture of Vienna, Austria and Kreuth, Germany. In the four weeks I was there, the sights and scenery were breathtaking.”
Fleming met her friend Natalie Goschl of Austria last year in Texas through their mutual trainer Mark Shaffer and the two girls lobbied hard for Fleming’s trip this year.
Fleming said her father Steven Fleming was hesitant to allow her to go so far away but reassurance by the host family eventually won him over.
“I had my passport ready to go if I needed to,” Steven Fleming said. “But in the end, it was just too good of an opportunity for her to miss. I am glad she was able to do this and we are very proud of her.”
When Fleming’s friends heard about her European trip some of them apparently confused Austria with Australia.
While in Austria, Fleming actually found a T-shirt that said, “Austria does not have kangaroos.”
In other Lion’s Club business, next week’s meeting will be held at the Los Antonio’s restaurant in Lindsay at 11 a.m. with a tour of St. Peter’s Catholic Church immediately following the meeting.