In 4‑H, you’ve developed your passion. You’ve found your purpose. You’ve inspired others – and now you’re moving forward. See how 4‑H has propelled these young people to change their communities.

The 2022 Youth in Action Awards application is now open!

Download Application Guidelines

4‑H Youth in Action Awards

The 4‑H Youth in Action Program recognizes four confident young leaders with diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives in our core pillar areas: agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and STEM.

Each year, Pillar Winners will experience an exciting year of telling their 4‑H story and celebrating their leadership. Winners receive:

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

4‑H is proud to share the diverse stories and unique perspectives of 4‑H’ers who are leaders in their communities. 4‑H Youth in Action Award winners comes from every corner of America and are impacting their local communities in astounding ways. Check out 4‑H Youth in Action Award winners and finalists below!

2021 Winners

Madelyn Zimmerman 2021 4-H Youth in Action Agriculture Pillar Winner

Madelyn Zimmerman


Amidst a difficult move to a new school where she didn’t feel she fit in with her peers, Madelyn Zimmerman found a safe space with her cattle. That same year, an incurable disease wiped out nearly half her herd, leaving her feeling devastated, voiceless, lost,...

Elizabeth Weidner 2021 4-H Youth in Action Civic Engagement Pillar Winner

Elizabeth Weidner

Civic Engagement

Elizabeth Weidner is no stranger to adversity. At age 12, she was diagnosed with stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma cancer and spent much of the past four and half years in and out of the hospital. Instead of letting these obstacles hold her back, they...

Mayyadah Zagelow 2021 4-H Youth in Action Healthy Living Pillar Winner

Mayyadah Zagelow

Healthy Living

At a young age, Mayyadah Zagelow struggled with her mental health through anxiety and selective mutism, unable to express her thoughts at school and in other environments. Combined with bullying at school by those she had once considered friends, Mayyadah felt isolated and betrayed. That’s when she joined 4‑H,...

Aidan Spencer 2021 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Winner

Aidan Spencer


In the spring of 2013, Aidan Spencer weathered more trials than many people experience in a lifetime. A house fire, family illness and debilitating car crash left Aidan feeling alone and hopeless. That’s when his friends invited him to join their 4‑H robotics club. Within...

2021 Finalists

Reagan Stephens 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Agriculture Pillar Finalist

Reagan Stephens


Reagan Stephens is passionate about cultivating self-confidence in youth. She knows first-hand about bullying in middle school, so she now teaches kindness, resilience, self-respect and respect for others through her program, “Ride with Reagan”. At her riding lessons and 4‑H horse camp, she teaches younger...

Drachen Koester 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Agriculture Pillar Finalist

Drachen Koester


Drachen Koester from Missouri has always been interested in bees and their importance in our lives. When chosen to be a State Teen Leader for the Ag Innovators Experience, Drachen attended a national training to learn all about bees and new teaching methods. This experience...

Maria Lonneman 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Civic Engagement Pillar Finalist

Maria Lonneman

Civic Engagement

As a child, Maria Lonneman was uncomfortable in social situations that were not predictable. 4‑H helped her to overcome many of the challenges she faced with Autism and allowed her to use her passion for sewing to help her community. Noting the stability and comfort...

Reed Marcum 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Civic Engagement Pillar Finalist

Reed Marcum

Civic Engagement

4‑H helped Reed Marcum gain the self-confidence, public speaking and leadership skills he needed to organize three different service initiatives to support needs he recognized in his community. His 4‑H book bag giveaway collected more than 4,000 book bags and school supplies to give to...

Erin Kistner 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Healthy Living Pillar Finalist

Erin Kistner

Healthy Living

After attending the Illinois 4‑H Hunger Summit, Erin Kistner was shocked to learn learn that nearly 2.3 million households in rural communities faced food insecurity. She shared what she had learned at the training with some other students at her high school and found that...

Danika Gordon 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards Healthy Living Pillar Finalist

Danika Gordon

Healthy Living

Danika Gordon realized that you can’t let bullies keep you down. She wanted to do something to combat the bullying she had experienced at a young age and to help others who are in similar situations, so she took on the challenge of writing a...

Aja Capel 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards STEM Pillar Finalist

Aja Capel


From a young age, Aja Capel has been a hands-on, out-of-the-box thinker and learner. Her learning differences made classroom life difficult, and it seemed that every door was closing to her desires to learn. But when she met her local 4‑H STEM leader, Aja finally...

Ashini Modi 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards STEM Pillar Finalist

Ashini Modi


Ashini Modi is passionate about educating kids about reading and science. While volunteering at a local homeless shelter for families, she discovered that the kids there did not have access to a library. Ashini took action and transformed a storage room at the homeless shelter...

2020 Award Recipients

Janya Green


Breanna Burkhead

Civic Engagement


Micah Palacios

Healthy Living

Joseph Huff


2019 Award Recipients

Clyde Van Dyke

STEM & National Winner

Mason McClintock

Civic Engagement


Addy Battel


Elisabeth Watkins

Healthy Living

2018 Award Recipients

Cassandra Ivie

National Youth in Action Award and STEM Pillar

Serena Woodard

Agriculture Pillar


Kyra-Lee Harry

Civic Engagement Pillar

Sophia Rodriguez

Healthy Living Pillar

2017 Award Recipients

Amelia Day

National Youth in Action Award and Civic Engagement Pillar

Samuel Sugarman

Agriculture Pillar


Bryanne Sanchez

Healthy Living Pillar

Ava Lonneman

STEM Pillar