2016 National Volunteers of the Year

4‑H National Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer

Yvonne Childs

Yvonne Childs has served as a 4‑H volunteer leader in the state of Georgia for 68 years. In the 1960s, Yvonne Childs took a huge leap in her 4‑H career serving as one of the original five Grady county volunteer leaders who were the backbone in developing a State Volunteer Leader Association. Being the foundation of Georgia’s current successful 4‑H program, Yvonne has remained active in the association for more than 50 years. Being an active volunteer for over six decades, her service amounts to over 57,000 hours and the total time, talent, and travel contributions of Mrs. Childs are estimates at over $700,000!

Yvonne has made several positive impacts in the 4‑H community serving as a positive role model for thousands of 4‑Hers. Under her mentorship, 40 youths have gained Georgia 4‑H’s top honor of “Master 4‑H’er”, two have earned national wins, and last year all youth under her leadership gained top honors! She is also well known for her positive impacts involving charity; every year, Mrs. Childs and her 4‑H’ers sell thousands of dollars’ worth of Vidalia Onions to raise funds for youth to attend 4‑H Summer Camp. One her biggest achievements was adopting one of her youth members after discovering they lived in an abusive home, now that same little girl is a registered nurse raising a loving family of her own. Yvonne Childs is phenomenal woman and an outstanding leader with a heart built around the 4‑H principles.

4‑H National Volunteer of the Year

John King

John King first became involved in the 4‑H program as a parent volunteer when he enrolled his three children. After watching his children grow from the programs, he decided to become a permanent parent volunteer even after his children aged out of 4‑H. For 8 years, John has been the instructor of the 4‑H shooting sports program in Tioga County, New York. He also serves as Range Officer for the 16 winter matches in the winter time.
King spends most of his free time creating teacher aids that better educate within the 4‑H guidelines to prevent confusion among his students. During his courses, John focuses on firearms safety, leadership development, and encourages members to develop their skills. To encourage students to learn, John combines in-depth knowledge of 4‑H Shooting Sports with a positive attitude and a willingness to modify instruction so that youth of all ages and abilities can be successful. He also encourages the parents to take an active part in their child’s learning experience by having them enroll as 4‑H volunteers and becoming certified 4‑H Shooting Sports instructors. Along with working with hundreds of youth as a 4‑H volunteer, he has taken the lead in managing the program’s major fundraiser, the “traveling” 4‑H Air Rifle trailer. John King has helped hundreds of youths grasp the importance of firearm safety and develop skills in the 4‑H shooting sports program.

2016 Regional Outstanding Lifetime Volunteers

North East Region

Debbie Beisel

Debbie Biesel has served as an Indiana County 4‑H leader for 20 years. She has been a member and treasurer of County 4‑H Advisory Council for 11 years and is currently focusing on teaching wildlife and forestry programming. In the past two decade, she has served as an an organizational or project leader in three different clubs – foods and clothing, community, and goat. Debbie has also participated in coached wildlife, forestry, potato grading, and identification teams. She is truly a dedicated leader in the 4‑H program deserving of her title as the PA winner in 4‑H Wildlife and Fisheries Outstanding Volunteer Program and then named one of six national winners.

Throughout her years of teaching, Debbie discovered different techniques that makeher program fun, knowledgeable, and interactive. She encourages her students to see, smell, and touch the leaves and bark of the different species of trees while giving them pointers on how to easily identify them. She also provides members with photo flash cards for both forestry and wildlife, and encourages them to apply the flashcards to their studies for the state contests. Along with wildlife, Debbie works hard to teach the children life morals and values including being on time, how to work hard and take pride in your work, learning to work through problems, and have good decision-making habits. She teaches the 4‑H youth to be proud of their accomplishments no matter how big or small.

Western Region

Patsy Perkins

Patsy Perkins grew up in 4‑H and has been a 4‑H leader for 25 years in the Tanana District of Alaska. Throughout her volunteer career, Patsy has served on numerous councils both at the district and state levels. In 2014, she was elected treasurer for the Alaska State Volunteer Leaders Organization and a year later the Finance Chair for the 2016 Western Regional Leaders Forum. To help further financial security and growth, Patsy volunteered to be the program cook resulting in the County 4‑H food bill being cut in half.

Along with being an amazing treasurer, Patsy is an outstanding mentor for youth and adults. She teaches civility, courtesy, manners, and generosity by installing community service, leadership, and dedication into all of her lessons. Patsy created a weekly sewing group and makes sure everyone is interactive and gains a new friend. Once the youth have mastered the basics from her sewing projects, they are encouraged to apply those sewing skills to other project areas or community service. She provides opportunities for her youth club members to further their sewing skills with a variety of events. For example; every year she leads a district wide sewing project where anyone can come in and volunteer to sew mittens and hats for the homeless and foster kids. A little after creating the Sunday Sewing group, Patsy created the Cloverbud group which allowed kids to get involved in 4H at an even younger age. She would teach various topics such as animals, sewing, and cooking.

North Central Region

Marvin Olinsky

As a 10 year 4‑H member in his childhood, followed by work as an Agent / Educator in New Jersey and New York, Marvin Olinsky knew the value of the 4‑H program and the lifelong impact it can make on a child. Marvin Olinsky has been very active on 4‑H committees and boards. He was a 4‑H Junior Leader in New Jersey as well as a 4‑H camp participant, counselor, and staff member. He also served on the Ohio 4‑H Foundation Board from 1987 to 1990. From his active participation Marvin won many awards ranging from the 4‑H Leadership Award from Rutgers Extension in 1970 to being inducted in the Ohio 4‑H Hall of Fame in 2015.

Marvin thanks the 4‑H programs for helping shape him into the man he is today and is working towards making the 4‑H opportunity available to all children. While working as CEO of Five Rivers MetroParks, Marvin dreamed of developing a facility with a program targeted to urban youth in a limited income neighborhood. Through hard work and dedication his dream became a reality called “Adventure Central”. Adventure Central is a 10 plus year partnership with Ohio State University Extension, 4‑H Youth Development, and Five Rivers MetroParks to create an education center located in West Dayton for youth ages 5-18. The facilities has an Out-of-school timing program that includes after-school programs, activity nights, day and overnight camps, and parent and family programs. Participants of this program spend time connecting with nature in a positive youth development context for the intended outcome of creating caring, capable, and contributing citizens of the future. Adventure Central has changed lives of at-risk youth for more than 12 years.

South East Region

Yvonne Childs

Yvonne Childs has served as a 4‑H volunteer leader in the state of Georgia for 68 years. In the 1960s, Yvonne Childs took a huge leap in her 4‑H career serving as one of the original five Grady county volunteer leaders who were the backbone in developing a State Volunteer Leader Association. Being the foundation of Georgia’s current successful 4‑H program, Yvonne has remained active in the association for more than 50 years. Being an active volunteer for over six decades, her service amounts to over 57,000 hours and the total time, talent, and travel contributions of Mrs. Childs are estimates at over $700,000!

Yvonne has made several positive impacts in the 4‑H community serving as a positive role model for thousands of 4‑Hers. Under her mentorship, 40 youths have gained Georgia 4‑H’s top honor of “Master 4‑H’er”, two have earned national wins, and last year all youth under her leadership gained top honors! She is also well known for her positive impacts involving charity; every year, Mrs. Childs and her 4‑H’ers sell thousands of dollars’ worth of Vidalia Onions to raise funds for youth to attend 4‑H Summer Camp. One her biggest achievements was adopting one of her youth members after discovering they lived in an abusive home, now that same little girl is a registered nurse raising a loving family of her own. Yvonne Childs is phenomenal woman and an outstanding leader with a heart built around the 4‑H principles.

2016 Regional Volunteers of the Year

North East Region

John King

John King first became involved in the 4‑H program as a parent volunteer when he enrolled his three children. After watching his children grow from the programs, he decided to become a permanent parent volunteer even after his children aged out of 4‑H. For 8 years, John has been the instructor of the 4‑H shooting sports program in Tioga County, New York. He also serves as Range Officer for the 16 winter matches in the winter time.
King spends most of his free time creating teacher aids that better educate within the 4‑H guidelines to prevent confusion among his students. During his courses, John focuses on firearms safety, leadership development, and encourages members to develop their skills. To encourage students to learn, John combines in-depth knowledge of 4‑H Shooting Sports with a positive attitude and a willingness to modify instruction so that youth of all ages and abilities can be successful. He also encourages the parents to take an active part in their child’s learning experience by having them enroll as 4‑H volunteers and becoming certified 4‑H Shooting Sports instructors. Along with working with hundreds of youth as a 4‑H volunteer, he has taken the lead in managing the program’s major fundraiser, the “traveling” 4‑H Air Rifle trailer. John King has helped hundreds of youths grasp the importance of firearm safety and develop skills in the 4‑H shooting sports program.

Western Region

Patty Miller

For ten years, Patty has been an active 4‑H leader in the Mat-Su and Kenai districts of Alaska. She has held several officer positions in Alaska’s state 4‑H Adult Volunteer Leader Organization, including President, Vice President and is currently Secretary. She is also the chairperson for the Level 2 Air Rifle Leaders Training and the State Shooting Sports Coordinator. Along with her experience in various positions, she has led numerous youth and adult workshops in her 4‑H groups.

Throughout the past ten years, Patty has been a strong voice for Alaska 4‑H at all levels, from club and local small stock project work to the Alaska State Volunteer Leaders Organization. She emphasizes youth development in livestock and shooting sports; using the 4‑H experiential learning model to engage, educate and encourage the youth to make decisions, challenge themselves, assist others, and apply the knowledge they have learned. Her students adore her professionalism and positive attitude along with her outstanding character and morals. Patty is cheerful, organized, patient, and can be counted on to finish what she starts Patty making her an outstanding role model for youth and other adults.

North Central Region

Mark Holysz

Mark Holysz has been active in the DuPage Country Robotics SPIN Club for many years serving more than 200 students. Completing his third year of volunteering, Mark has led 8 SPIN classes and conducted 2 workshops. He expresses an unlimited amount of passion towards his robotics teachings by making the information attainable and understandable for all youth. In the DuPage County Robotics program; Mr. Holysz wrote the curriculum, developed the projects, and efficiently conducted lessons with old Lego NXT home use kits. He has even dedicated time to mentoring other leaders in robotics which resulted in 2 additional clubs introducing robotics to their members.

In June/July 2015, a new program was introduced to the Robotics SPIN Club utilizing Arduinos, an open source computer hardware company that manufactures microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices, and Mark was placed in an assistant role. Even though this was a new area for him, he quickly mastered the concept and moved smoothly from youth to youth to answer questions and support the lead instructor. Also, despite having no experience with 3-D printing, Mark volunteered to work with the 3-D printer and created a flow chart that taught students how to operate it. Mark has demonstrated patience and consistency throughout his National 4‑H career when working with children.

South East Region

Donna Peoples

Donna Peoples has been a part of the 4‑H family for eigth years. She has served as the Vici Jr. 4‑H leader and currently the Vici Sr. 4‑H leader. She provides leadership with county 4‑H events and activities by taking part in judging State and County record books, presenting workshops at the district volunteer leader training, and hosting county events. Also, Donna encourages her club members to take part in volunteering by requiring them to be active in county citizenship projects and fundraising. She leads her 4‑H club by example resulting in her club members and youth leaders demonstrating high moral character when representing their club and community.

In her eight years of service, Donna has made a huge impact in the 4‑H program. This past December she worked with her 4‑H club to assemble and donate over 30 shoeboxes to the charity “Operation Christmas Child”. Also, Donna was instrumental in the creation of the County Fair Jamboree and Homemade Food Item Auction. This event was created to provide attendees a relaxing evening of entertainment, additional opportunities for 4‑H’ers to share their talents, and to increase revenue for the county 4‑H program. During the Jamboree 4‑H’ers share songs, skits, dances, etc. from their performing arts projects. Also, homemade baked goods from 4‑H cooking project members are auctioned to the highest bidder. This event has raised about $1,000.00 annually to help fund the county program. She takes the time to listen to the youth and encourage them to develop their ideas and goals and is dedicated to providing all youth with a positive and inclusive environment.