To Thine Self Be True

CAES student, former Georgia 4-H President Mason McClintock inspires others in his community


Dressed in a red and black velvet suit and sporting his signature curly mowhawk-esque coiffeur, Georgia 4-H’er Mason McClintock cut a bold figure as he accepted the 2019 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award for Civic Engagement from the National 4-H Council at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in March.

The 4-H Youth in Action Awards recognize 4-H’ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community. 

McClintock was recognized for creating the Alma Entrepreneur Tour, a project that exposed local students to successful business owners in their hometown of Alma, Georgia. To date, he has introduced 50 youth to a variety of new career pathways. 

“I wanted them to see that these people are being themselves and being successful,” said McClintock, who was attracted to the local 4-H program because he felt it was a place he could truly be himself.

“I was astounded by the number of opportunities there were for people like me; people who have more unique or eclectic interests,” said McClintock who is a member of Clovers and Company, Georgia 4-H’s performing arts group, and recently completed his term as president of Georgia 4-H. “4-H helped me realize that it’s okay to be different and that it’s a good thing. Every single day I am driven to show others that same acceptance and belonging that I found in 4-H.”

McClintock says 4-H introduced him to adult and youth role models who cared for him and inspired him to do the same for others. 

“I am just a south Georgia boy with a passion for empowering others to be confident in themselves,” said McClintock. “To think that something as simple as making the decision to live my truth has earned me the platform I have today is mindboggling.”

By Sharon Dowdy Cruse