Van Dyke will receive $10,000 in scholarships sponsored by HughesNet, and will serve as 4-H’s leading voice for young people
Chevy Chase, MD (March 12, 2019) — National 4-H Council announced that Clyde Van Dyke, 18, of Johnson City, NY, was selected as the national winner of the 2019 4-H Youth in Action Award. Van Dyke, who also won the 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award sponsored by HughesNet®, was honored at National 4-H Council’s Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C., among notable 4-H alumni including singer and songwriter Jennifer Nettles and celebrity chef Carla Hall.
As the national Youth in Action winner, Van Dyke will receive $10,000 in scholarships for higher education.
The 4-H Youth in Action Award recognizes Van Dyke for his resilience and commitment to using technology to spark community change.
Van Dyke, a New York 4-H’er, faced many challenges in his childhood, including losing his mother at a young age. He was further discouraged in elementary school when he was told that most kids with his background wouldn’t succeed. This feeling of defeat led him to put forth little effort in school. But everything changed when a friend invited him to a 4-H technology club meeting. Not only did the 4-H program bring him access and exposure to technology, it helped him develop a wealth of resources and life skills that altered his perspective and motivation.
“Without 4-H, I would’ve slipped through the cracks. 4-H gave me the motivation and resources I needed to overcome the mindset that I couldn’t succeed,” said Van Dyke. “Now, I show other kids the path for success and what they can gain in 4-H, too.”
Van Dyke’s 4-H educator, Kelly Adams, encouraged him to get involved in Broome County 4-H’s Geospatial Mapping Club, a program that teaches youth how to create maps to visualize data. Clyde took the project to the next level by creating maps that help people see the impact of important community issues and envision a pathway for community action. Van Dyke routinely teaches workshops to educate others to use geospatial mapping technology to enact community change.
Now, Van Dyke serves on the National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team and has presented his most powerful geospatial map at the annual international Esri User Conference and Education Summit. This map, which visualizes the drug overdose epidemic, charts the increase in drug overdose deaths from 2008-2016 along with potential factors that contribute to this growing epidemic.
“Clyde’s story demonstrates the powerful and positive impact a caring, adult mentor can make in the life of a young person,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president & CEO, National 4-H Council. “When given the tools they need to lead, 4-H’ers like Clyde are becoming the next generation of changemakers in their communities and for our country.”
Clyde was selected as the 4-H Youth in Action Award National Winner from a pool of three other youth who were recognized as winners in other pillar areas: Addy Battel of Michigan (Agriculture), Mason McClintock of Georgia (Civic Engagement) and Elisabeth Watkins of California (Healthy Living).
“Clyde has demonstrated an authentic passion for applying STEM skills to solve real-world problems,” said Peter Gulla, senior vice president of marketing for HughesNet. “We are proud to support him on his journey to continued success in STEM and in life. We are equally proud to work together with 4-H to continue broadening young people’s access to STEM education in an increasingly technology-dependent world.”
The 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored in part by HughesNet, began in 2010 to recognize 4-H’ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community. This award highlights youth in each of 4-H’s core areas of Agriculture, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living and STEM. These four pillars represent the fields in which 4-H youth excel on a national level and align with the mission mandates of National 4-H Council.
To learn more about Youth in Action or to see the other pillar winners from around the country, please visit https://4-h.org/parents/4-H-youth-in-action/.
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4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.