Georgia’s Amelia Day Selected as 4-H Youth In Action Award Winner for Civic Engagement

By kara February 21, 2017

Chevy Chase, MD (February 21, 2017) — National 4-H Council today announced that Amelia Day, 18, of Fort Valley, Ga., was selected as winner of the 2017 4-H Youth In Action Award for Civic Engagement. Day will be recognized nationally for the true leadership she has demonstrated as founder of the Operation: Veteran Smiles (OVS) community service initiative that she started at age 13.

In five years, Day has grown OVS from a local program in Dublin, Ga. into a regional initiative that has served more than 4,000 veterans and engaged more than 6,500 volunteers nationwide to hand-deliver custom care packages, notes of encouragement and musical therapy to veteran patients.

“I got the idea to start Operation: Veteran Smiles when I joined my dad on his appointment at a veteran’s hospital in 2012,” said Day. “During that visit, I saw that many veterans live far away from where they receive treatment, meaning that their family and friends are often unable to visit regularly. I realized that without regular visits and support from loved ones, many veteran patients feel isolated and even lack access to basic toiletries and comforts that family members would normally supply.”

Day will receive a $5,000 scholarship for higher education and will serve as spokesperson for 4-H Civic Engagement programming. She will be officially recognized as the 2017 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Winner for Civic Engagement, sponsored by U.S. Cellular, at the National 4-H Council Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

“We’re proud to support the National 4-H Council’s Civic Engagement pillar and to support the work Amelia does for our veterans,” said Grant Leech, vice president of brand management at U.S. Cellular. “She is a remarkable young adult and her efforts have been exemplary throughout the communities she’s impacted.”


Day is joined in her role as a 2017 4-H Youth In Action Pillar Winner by Samuel Sugarman, California 4-H’er and Agriculture pillar winner; Ava Lonneman, Ohio 4-H’er and STEM pillar winner; and Bryanne Sanchez, California 4-H’er and Healthy Living pillar winner.

The 4-H Youth In Action Awards, sponsored in part by U.S. Cellular, 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 our 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 Youth in Action.

To schedule an interview contact: April Baggs, GA 4-H State Educator 478-987-2028. OR, Arch Smith, 706-542-4444.

About 4-H

As the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H 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. In the U.S., 4-H serves every county and parish through our network of 110 universities and more than 3,000 local 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. 4-H is led by a unique private-public partnership of universities, federal and local government agencies, foundations and professional associations. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Learn more about 4-H at, find us on Facebook at and on Twitter at

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don’t and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance in the North Central Region, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or

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