About 4‑H Youth in Action Awards

The 4‑H Youth in Action Awards Program gives youth the chance to share their stories of how 4‑H has changed their lives and how they have made a difference in their communities.

The program honors four young people who embody 4‑H youth empowerment & leadership in each of the four 4‑H Pillar Areas: Agriculture, Citizenship, Healthy Living and STEM (one per pillar). Each Pillar Winner will experience an exciting year of telling their 4‑H story and celebrating their leadership.

Applicants for the 4‑H Youth in Action Awards should be 4‑H’ers or recent alumni ages 16-19, and the program is open to youth of all types of 4‑H programs.

Application guidelines for the 2018 4‑H Youth in Action Awards are available now. The application will be open for submission August 1 to October 23, 2017.

Read the Guidelines

4‑H Youth in Action Prizes

4‑H Youth in Action Pillar winners will receive the following –

  • $5,000 scholarship for higher education
  • Customized promotional video showcasing their 4‑H impact story
  • All-expenses-paid trip to the National 4‑H Council’s Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C.
  • Networking opportunities with 4‑H celebrities and other prominent alumni
  • Recognition as the official 4‑H youth spokesperson for their pillar.

One Pillar Winner will be selected as the 4‑H Youth in Action National Award Winner and will receive an additional scholarship for higher education.

Read the Guidelines

2017 Youth in Action National Winner

Citizenship

Amelia Day, Fort Valley, Georgia

When Amelia Day escorted her father to an appointment at a veteran’s hospital in 2012, she didn’t know that the visit would spark an idea for a 4‑H service project that would reach far beyond her hometown. A 4‑H’er since elementary school, Amelia knew first-hand the transformative power of 4‑H; she’d seen the difference 4‑H opportunities made in her own life to aid her in overcoming a difficult speech impediment. At age 13, when she sensed a need for encouragement and support for our nation’s veterans, she put the leadership skills she’d learned in 4‑H into action, and Operation: Veteran Smiles was born. This service initiative provides care packages, notes of encouragement and musical therapy to veterans at the Carl Vinson Veteran’s Hospital in Dublin, Georgia. Over the past 5 years, Operation: Veteran Smiles has impacted more than 4,000 veterans and engaged more than 6,500 volunteers with the help of 4‑H clubs, volunteers and grants.

Support Operation: Veteran Smiles

2017 Youth in Action Pillar Winners

Agriculture

Samuel Sugarman, Encinitas, California

Growing up on a farm, Samuel Sugarman realized in his teen years that youth in his San Diego suburb didn’t experience many opportunities to be outdoors. These youth were glued to cell phones, computers and television screens much of the time and had little to no understanding of where their food comes from. A 4‑H’er since the age of 9, Samuel had developed life skills like public speaking and goal setting, while learning from adult mentors who modeled servant leadership. Drawing on these skills he’d developed in 4‑H, Samuel created the free Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature. Since the program’s inception, Samuel has led hundreds of Farm Tours for scout troops, youth groups and school groups. Through these tours, he taught youth about stewardship, compassion, patience and gratitude. In 2016, Samuel was honored for his service work with the Congressional Gold Medal for Service by Congressman Darrell Issa.

Healthy Living

Bryanne Sanchez, Imperial, California

Bryanne Sanchez became an advocate for healthy living in her community as her 4‑H club’s first Healthy Living Officer. Using this platform, Bryanne sought to bring initiatives promoting a healthy lifestyle to her Club and community. As her 4‑H club’s Healthy Living officer, she launched the annual Color Me Green Run in Imperial County. Annually, more than 250 runners participate in this fun, three-mile race that encourages youth and adults to stay active. She was instrumental in implementing the All 4‑Health Fair at the California State Leadership Conference, working to partner with other organizations to provide healthy living activities. Realizing that a healthy lifestyle includes both physical and mental well-being, Bryanne partnered with Creating Community Solutions to organize a Text, Talk, Act forum that provided more than 200 youth with the opportunity to discuss these topics in a healthy environment.

STEM

Ava Lonneman, Mogadore, Ohio

Ava Lonneman, a 17-year-old 4‑H’er through Ohio State University Extension, doesn’t let gender stereotypes get in her way when it comes to pursuing her dreams. Though told in elementary school that STEM “isn’t for girls”, Ava relentlessly pursued STEM herself and sought to bring STEM programming to her peers. As founder of a STEM mentoring program and her school’s 4‑H Maker’s Club, Ava has reached more than 1,600 youth using 4‑H curricula such as Junk Drawer Robotics and National Youth Science Day activities. Ava aims to explore all STEM fields and to set an example for youth to persevere in their interest areas, no matter the challenges they face. When she graduates in 2018, Ava plans to attend college and pursue a career in a STEM+M field, with the ultimate goal of becoming a university president.

4‑H Youth in Action Guidelines

To learn more about applying for the 2018 4‑H Youth in Action Awards, check out this year’s application guidelines. The application will be open for submission August 1 to October 23, 2017.

2018 4‑H Youth in Action Guidelines

Download

4‑H Youth in Action Toolkit

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2017 Youth in Action National Winner and Citizenship Pillar Winner, Amelia Day

2017 Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Winner, Samuel Sugarman

2017 Youth in Action Healthy Living Pillar Winner, Bryanne Sanchez

2017 Youth in Action STEM Pillar Winner, Ava Lonneman