LAMAR, Mo. — A Lamar High School senior stays very busy, year-round, with several extracurricular activities inside and outside of school.

He just got back from the 4-H Public Speaking National Competition in Denver, where he brought home the 2nd place trophy to his community.

Andrew Shelton tells us why we should always dream big.

“Going out and doing something really big can seem daunting. It can seem like, this is just not feasible. Especially, as someone coming from a small town, rural area. But I believe just like this central concept, I think, applies to everyone is that, just do it,” said Andrew Shelton, Missouri 4-H Councilman.

After taking 1st place in 4-H public speaking at the county, regional and state levels, Andrew Shelton made it to the “National Western Round-Up” competition.
That’s where he put his writing, public speaking, creativity, and time management skills to the test.

“It was just an incredibly enriching experience getting to listen to other incredible competitors’ speeches and getting to immerse myself in a new city, a different place and just, seeing a different part of America and just learning so much while I was out there was just truly rewarding,” said Shelton.

Shelton plans to apply all of these skills to his future.
He’s currently applying for colleges with the goal of majoring in business marketing and minoring in theater, hoping that it all leads to working in the business of cinema.

“I’d say it’s integral to my future because everything having to do with business or acting or the entertainment industry or really any part of my daily life has to do with speaking. And last year, I did prepared speaking, making my own speech over a set period of time, memorizing it, and delivering it, that’s extremely useful. Especially when I’m giving business pitches or, you know, doing sales meetings or anything of the like, and then, extemporaneous speaking is sort of what I’m doing right now,” said Shelton.

Shelton says his story also speaks volumes about his community and others like it.

“Something that gets overlooked a lot is the kids here in these small towns, you know, across Missouri across the country and I just want to say that, you know, I was able to do it. Coming from a small town and small high school, I was able to go to a national competition and win and I just want every other rural high school, and middle school student in general in these areas to know that you can go out and do amazing things. You can, and accomplish great feats, you just got to try,” said Shelton.