CHEVY CHASE, MD. (August 30, 2022) - National 4-H Council has awarded New York Governor Kathy Hochul with the 4-H Distinguished Alumni Medallion, an honor given to an accomplished alumnus who embodies the life-changing impact of 4-H. Hochul, a New York 4-H alumna, is the first sitting governor to receive the award. National 4-H Council President & CEO Jennifer Sirangelo and 4-H'ers from Cornell Cooperative Extension presented the award to Hochul at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on August 24, 2022.
4‑H's mission is to empower all young people-regardless of background-to find their spark, develop leadership skills, and drive positive change. Through diverse programming, life skills building, and mentorship, 4-H strives to eliminate the opportunity gap facing America's kids. Delivered by the nation's Cooperative Extension system, 4-H programs build the confidence, resilience, independence, and compassion needed for youth to succeed in life today and careers tomorrow.
"I am honored to receive this award from 4-H, a rock of an organization for girls and boys that helps to provide the tools they'll need as they grow. My time spent with the 4-H community has had a lasting impact on my life and career," said Governor Hochul. "At 10 years old, I gave my first public speech as a 4-H'er at the Erie County Fair and from there, I built the confidence, courage, and valuable life skills that I draw from to this day as governor of New York."
A native of Buffalo, New York, Hochul participated in Cornell Cooperative Extension's 4-H program throughout her childhood. Her experiences varied from cooking and sewing competitions at the fair to public speeches on how to make healthy recipes. She continues to be an avid fairgoer and never misses the opportunity to visit the 4-H exhibits and have meaningful interactions with 4-H'ers.
"Governor Hochul's compassion, integrity, and commitment to public service exemplify the 4-H pledge and serve as inspiration to 4-H'ers everywhere," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. "Her trailblazing career is an example to young people that through determination, hard work, and persistence their dreams are within reach."
Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Medallion include Aubrey Plaza, actor and producer; Craig Melvin, anchor, TODAY Show; Jennifer Nettles, Grammy-Award winning singer and songwriter; and Temple Grandin, Ph.D., best-selling author, autism activist, and consultant to the livestock industry.
National 4-H Council President & CEO Jennifer Sirangelo and 4-H'ers from Cornell Cooperative Extension present the 4-H Distinguished Alumni Medallion to New York Governor Kathy Hochul
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 3000 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. Follow 4-H on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Julia Majors, National 4-H Council