VALDOSTA -- One Lowndes High senior makes good use of her recyclables, or just about anything else she picks up, from a simple piece of wood to a pine cone out of the yard.
Shasta Rozier, 17, has been busy creating things out of bottles, cans, wood and just about anything else since she was a child. "My granny has a cousin named Betty Peters, and for as long as I can remember, they would sit there and do crafts for hours and hours."
And her granny, Sonia Rozier, said Shasta would sit right there with them and make her own little crafts. She made her first doll out of a wood block at the age of 8.
When she started fifth grade, she joined the 4H Club and began winning awards for her crafts. Her first trophy was the 4H District Project Achievement award. Now she has a shelf full of trophies in her crafts room, which is also full of glue guns, fabrics and ongoing projects.
Just a few of her achievements include Junior Miss and Senior Miss 4H pageant winner, the 4H Key Award, a Consumer Education pin for arts and crafts, the Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in 4H project work, and the 4H Citizen of the Year for 2000.
"Her great-grandfather was a great craftsman," Sonia said. "He made a whole miniature town of cabins. That's the legacy he left for all his children."
Shasta inherited her great-grandfather's talent and gets to put it to good use. She gets to teach 4H classes for fifth- and sixth-graders, and for the holidays she has created a project called Angels for Angels for the purpose of taking hand-crafted angels to nursing homes.
She is willing to sell her creations to anyone interested in buying. She sells them at anywhere from $1 to $25, depending on the materials she uses.
Around Christmas, Shasta said she makes a lot of tree toppers and ornament-type crafts. Her latest project, however, is a table and chairs made from Coke, Pepsi and Sam's Club cans, which will serve a purpose for the holidays because her two little cousins will eat Thanksgiving dinner on them.
"My little cousins gave me the idea for that. I was at their house, and they were sitting on some cans, so I decided to make some chairs and a table," she said.
Each chair is made from 24 cans, and it took 88 for the table. The chairs are sturdy enough to hold her cousins, 4-year-old Leannah and 3-year-old Tiffany.
Shasta can make something nice out of just about anything. She made an angel with a two-liter bottle and a candle centerpiece with a bar of Lux soap.
As "crafty" as she is, her goal when she graduates high school is to go into broadcasting and become a motivational speaker, but she intends to stay involved in 4H. "I'm always going to work with 4H. What holds me in 4H is when the younger kids run up to me and hug me because they know me and like me."
She said she intends to minor in extension agency. "My main encourager outside my family is Emily Mullis, my 4H extension agent."
She said her mother and stepfather, Teresa and Michael Sager, show her encouragement and give her inspiration, as well. She decorated First Baptist Church in Valdosta when her mother got married there, where Shasta is a member.
She is also a member of a volunteer group called Interact, so she stays busy. "I was in the band, but I really don't have time for anything but 4H and church."
And whatever free time she does have is spent making ordinary things a little extraordinary.
To contact reporter Susan Veal, please call 244-3400, ext. 254.
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