Dean Rosas enjoys photography, particularly experimenting with interesting perspectives and angles he finds in up-close shots.

"You have to get as close as possible," said the 8-year-old Heritage  Homeschool 4-H Club member who lives in Victoria County.

Through 4-H, Dean said he has learned about different camera modes and settings. He started practicing his new skills in August, mostly taking pictures in the outdoors. 

Dean plans to enter his favorite photographs in the county fair at the Victoria Livestock Show. This is his first year in 4-H, but he entered the coloring contest in 2019 and 2020.

In 2019, he took home the grand champion prize — a large, shiny trophy he holds up with pride. He hopes to place again this year in the competitions he enters.

The county fair gives youth the opportunity to show off their creativity and skills in several categories, including art, photography, crafts and horticulture, clothing and handiwork, foods and educational exhibits. 

In addition to art photography, Dean plans to enter an acrylic painting of a fox in snow-covered woods, a bird house made of recycled materials, a coloring project, baking project and science fair project.

When he gets older, Dean wants to take up robotics, too. But for now, his many art projects are keeping him busy.

At his family's country home, Dean's mother teaches him about famous artists and their signature strategies. 

"I like that you can make your imagination flow or copy something or like this famous artist," he said, and pointed to his own version of Norman Rockwell's Triple Self-Portrait. "He traced."

Dean's mother, Jessica Rosas, said she loves the variety of learning experiences 4-H creates for children like her son. Rosas was also in a 4-H club as a child. 

"There are lots of different skills they can learn," Rosas said. "They also focus a lot on public speaking, presentations and community service."

Dean is also excited to enter his own cookie recipe in the foods division this year.  

"So this is my idea," he said. "Instead of M&M cookies or chocolate chip cookies where you only get one or the other, I'm going to mix them all together and then put a wand on top made of icing and sprinkles.

"I call them Dean's Magic Cookies." 

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Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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