As part of 4-H, a youth development and mentoring program, Laura Macmanus eighth grade student at Gutierrez Middle School not only participates in raising and showing animals, but she is also actively involved in the community.
“4-H isn’t just about agriculture, it’s about creating leaders,” said Macmanus. “We do a lot of community service projects. Last month we made self-serve pasta dishes for the Ronald McDonald House and delivered them to the families there. We’re now making Easter baskets for the kids that have siblings in the hospitals so they can enjoy them for Easter.”
The group also helps at Loaves and Fishes and donates to Tim’s Coats. Along with community service, members have the opportunity to learn about nutrition and science.
At this year’s Rio Grande Livestock Show she showed four rabbits and participated in the photography contest, but she most looked forward to the Grease Pig Scramble.
“When the judges look at my market rabbits, they run their hand down the rabbit’s back. They want to feel pure muscle; they don’t want to feel the bones,” said Macmanus. “Then there’s this really fun event that I like. It’s called the pig scramble. They cover about 8-10 pigs with grease and the goal is to catch them.”
Taking 4-H’s motto, “to make the best, better,” and applying it to each area of her life, Macmanus has excelled at everything she puts her mind to.
She is in the Top 12, the National Junior Honor Society, Tennis, Choir, and the University Interscholastic League, to name a few.
Playing tennis alongside her partner, Hannah Wells, she placed first in district.
When she started choir at GMS, she had to work hard as other students were a whole year ahead of her in terms of vocal training.
“I came here in seventh grade. I didn’t know anyone and my schedule only worked with varsity choir. I had to work really hard, and I just listened to all of the advice that was given to me. I wanted to prove I deserved to be there, and at the end of the year I got the outstanding award for the choir.”
The GMS Girls Choir recently earned straight ones and took the sweepstakes award at UIL.