4-H Celebration of Excellence Awards Program 2022

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ILLINOIS 4-H AWARD PROGRAM

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ILLINOIS 4-H PROJECT GUIDE 26


WE WE PROUDLY PROUDLY CELEBRATE CELEBRATE YOUR YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS ACHIEVEMENTS Congratulations to all of the 4-H Celebrating Excellence award winners! We are truly proud of the skills, dedication, service, and leadership these young people have developed as part of their 4-H experience. You inspire us through your example. For staff in the 4-H program, you are what brings fulfillment to our work, as we learn from your ideas, see you stretch yourself to new limits, and witness the countless ways you are serving and leading in your communities. I also want to acknowledge the network of 4-H families, staff, volunteers, and partners who play such vital roles in encouraging and supporting these young people in the pursuit of their goals. Working together, you are helping youth in Illinois be empowered and prepared for success. 109 new 4-H clubs were started last year, and we are excited to see more youth have the opportunity to grow with 4-H. That growth would not be possible without our generous donors and we are deeply grateful for the opportunities you make possible. Congratulations to each of our awardees!

Dr. Lisa Diaz Assistant Dean and Director University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development

The Illinois 4-H Foundation is proud to be Celebrating Excellence in our Illinois 4-H members! Our donors deeply value education, and through their generous gifts we are able to recognize the hard work, dedication, and commitment of this exceptional group of young people. The Illinois 4-H Foundation is grateful to our over 2,000 donors who generously provided over $800,000 this past fiscal year to help young people find their spark in 4-H. Through these philanthropic contributions, educational opportunities are funded, new programs are given life, resources are made available, and youth have new experiences. These gifts help to ignite the spark of the next generation of leaders. Help us make more happen in Illinois 4-H! We think you believe the same thing as we do: that 4-H changes futures. Just look at this year’s state winners! Please consider investing in our Illinois 4-Hers. You may give online at 4hfoundation.illinois.edu/giving. Congratulations to each of our honorees! Illinois 4-H and our youth are truly making a difference in our world.

Angie Barnard Executive Director Illinois 4-H Foundation

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL, CONSUMER & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES University of Illinois | U.S. Department of Agriculture | Local Extension Councils Cooperating University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

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ILLINOIS 4-H AWARDS and RECOGNITION STATE 4-H AWARD WINNERS

This award recognizes youth that have focused on personal growth through their participation in the 4-H program.

ANIMAL SCIENCES

Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Dave & Lisa McMurtry, Barbara &

This award recognizes youth who have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery in their animal science projects. Sponsors: Tim & Belinda Carey, George Obernagel, Keith &

Lissa Parr, and Mark & Lee Ann Gossett.

CIVIL ENGAGEMENT & GLOBAL LIVING

This award recognizes youth that have focused on 4-H work in service to/for others.

Sponsors: Ron & Melanie Warfield and Nannette Armstrong.

CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS & COMMUNICATIONS

This award recognizes youth that have focused their 4-H work on the arts and the art of communicating with others.

Sponsors: Dee Murray, Kevin & Janette Rhoades in honor of

Norman & Mary Ann Rhoades, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation Legacy of Leadership Endowment

FOOD SYSTEMS

This award recognizes youth who have focused on food production, processing, distribution, and access. Sponsors: Bernie & Susan Heisner, Donna Mueller, Evelyn

Brandt Thomas, Dr. Larry Hageman, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation Legacy of Leadership Endowment.

HEALTHY LIVING & NUTRITION

This award focuses on youth who are helping their communities make healthy decisions and lead healthy lifestyles. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Donna Mueller, Kevin & Janette

Rhoades in honor of Norman & Mary Ann Rhoades, and Dr. Janice Seitz.

LEADERSHIP

This award recognizes youth that have focused on the development of leadership skills, including offices held, committees served on, programs led, and public presentations given on behalf of 4-H. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Donna Mueller, Dr. Janice Seitz,

George Clark, and Dr. Janice Seitz.

STEM & ROBOTICS

This award recognizes youth who have focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Sponsors: Lisa Woessner Memorial 4-H Science Endowment,

Sharon & Art Tenhouse, Dee Murray, and Landon Frye.

4-H EXPERIENCE AWARD

This award recognizes youth who have expanded their 4-H careers beyond the county. The award is presented at two levels and in one of the following dimensions: Community Service, Leadership, or Project Learning.

DIAMOND LEVEL

This award recognizes youth who completed six or more experiences in one of the three dimensions, with at least four of those experiences beyond the county level. Sponsors: David and Sue Randall and Dr. Janice Seitz

EMERALD LEVEL

This award recognizes youth who completed eight or more experiences in one of the three dimensions, with at least four of those experiences beyond the county level and at least two at the state, national, or international level. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Dr. Lloyd Shaw, Jim and Cheryl

Wormley and Pete Haselhorst.

ILLINOIS 4-H SUSTAINING THE FUTURE AWARD

This award recognizes youth who have exemplified outstanding leadership within the agriculture industry and a desire to remain engaged. Sponsor: Illinois Farm Bureau and Affiliates

RETIRING ILLINOIS YOUTH LEADERSHIP TEAM

This award recognizes members of the Illinois Youth Leadership Team for their service and dedication to Illinois 4-H.

and Chicago Farmers.

Sponsor: Illinois 4-H Foundation

NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

DEB STOCKER ILLINOIS 4-H YOUTH LEADERSHIP TEAM SCHOLARSHIP

This award recognizes youth who have focused on environmental stewardship.

Sponsors: Brian & Kristin Deverman, Sharon & Art Tenhouse,

Mark & Mary Kaufman, Walter Lynn, Colleen Callahan-Burns.

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PERSONAL GROWTH

Each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship.

This award honors an exceptional member of the 4-H Youth Leadership Team. Various donors to the Deb Stocker Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team Scholarship Fund


CAROLINE AHRENDS

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Logan County | Chester 4-H Club, State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, 4-H Clube Solo Fertil, Collegiate 4-H, Logan County Ambassadors As the social chair for the 4-H Youth Leadership Team, Caroline helped plan and lead the Junior Leadership Conference as well as many other state-wide events. Through her time as a Teen Teacher in Logan County she was able to teach children how to cook healthy foods with the Jr. Chef Cooking Program, which sparked her interest in becoming an elementary school teacher. “4-H means new opportunities. 4-H allows youth to explore new skills and interests that they may have never had the opportunity to have otherwise. 4-H empowers youth to be innovators and make the best better.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Caroline plans to complete her studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, she would like to teach at an international school or in a bilingual classroom.

KATELYN ALLEN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award White County | Mad Hatters 4-H Club, White County Federation, Illinois Food Advocacy Team Katelyn attended many different kinds of visual art project workshops this year, with her favorites being gingerbread baking and leather crafting. In addition to workshops, Katelyn competed in the Public Speaking contest and helped in her county garden. Out of everything 4-H has to offer, her favorite things to participate in are the food drives. “4-H to me means a place where I can belong and be accepted. It is a place where I can try new things and form life-long friendships. It has also helped me to be more responsible, a better leader, and a better person.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Katelyn hopes to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Library Science Program followed by a career as a librarian.

ZOE AULT

State Award: STEM/Robotics Kankakee County | Herscher Hustlers Throughout her 9 year 4-H career, Zoe has been in leadership for 6 years. She participated in FIRST Robotics at Herscher High School and was the code captain her Junior year. Zoe’s most prominent projects have been interior design and photography, with both being areas in which she went to State. “4-H has truly taught me more life skills than I can name. It has also allowed me to explore hobbies more thoroughly.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Zoe will attend the University of Iowa to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy.

ELAAN BADER

State Award: Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Montgomery County | Teen Teachers, National Pollinator Ambassador, Montgomery County YLT, Unit 18 YLT, Montgomery County Straightshooters, Sewing Club, Carbon Footprint Teen Teacher, Hunger Ambassador, Speaking for Illinois, Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team, Ag Innovators Teen Teacher, Clube Solo Fertil Elaan was able to enhance her project mastery skills through her work implementing the interactive, hands-on Honeybee Challenge and Monarchs on the Move as a Pollinator Ambassador. Participating in Food Demonstration and Public Speaking Contests as well as the Toastmasters Program Workshop have generated increased selfconfidence and given her public speaking skills that she was able to pass along to other members. Additionally, Elaan was selected for the International 4-H SPIN Club ‘Clube Solo Fertil” to work more closely with Brazilian 4-H members on solving food security issues. “4-H means opportunities to become a leader and grow new leaders, learn invaluable skills, and help your community and world. 4-H has given me so many great opportunities to get a head start on life!” EDUCATION & CAREER: Elaan hopes to attend either the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or Washington University in St. Louis. While there, she will study to become an ag lobbyist or a lawyer.

KATELYN BARBER

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Macoupin | Northwestern Green Machines, Federation, 4-H Committee Katelyn served as Club Junior Leader and Secretary, 4-H committee Vice President, and Glenwood High School Key Club Vice President. She also participated in the YLT International Leadership Conference food security activities and took part in various visual arts and cooking group learning experiences, including paper projects, paintings projects, and how to make ice cream in a bag. “I strongly believe that 4-H has helped me grow and develop as a person and has instilled values in me that I wouldn’t have gained elsewhere.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Katelyn plans to major in Biology and Music.

ALEX BARNARD

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | Champaign County 4-H Livestock Club, Champaign County Livestock Judging Club Alex has had the opportunity to work alongside great mentors who encourage him to “learn by doing” through his beef and crops projects. This year he attended a wide variety of events, including 4-H Memorial Camp, Jr. Livestock Conference, Champaign County Livestock Judging, and various food drives. “4-H gives me all sorts of opportunities! I get to meet new friends from all over, learn how to present in front of groups, and try out new projects.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Alex plans to attend college to study Agriculture.

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SHELBY BASHAM

Youth Education in Agriculture Committee Kankakee County | Cabery Specials 4-H Club, Illinois 4-H Shelby is a member of the State Livestock Ambassador team and enjoys exhibiting multiple species at the fair. She enjoys competing in public speaking contests at the local and state level. She utilizes her public speaking skills as a member of the Speaking for Illinois 4-H team where she is an advocate for 4-H. “4-H means family. 4-H has always been part of our family since my mom and dad met through 4-H. 4-H provides many skills and opportunities for youth to learn and grow in so many different areas of their life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Shelby plans to major in agriculture communications with the hopes of one day becoming an agricultural lobbyist.

CALLYSTA BORDERS

State Award: Food Systems Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Union | Union County Robotics, Lick Creek 4-H Callysta participated in both the Illinois Food Summit and the Illinois State Speech Competition. She also showed both individual and group projects at the State Fair. In addition to events, Callysta helped younger 4-Hers learn about their projects and was active in a variety of community service projects. “4-H helps me learn what I want to do and what I want to be by giving me the push to try something new and learn if I like it.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Callysta would like to be a teacher of music and English, using her computer science background to bring technology into the classroom.

TRYSTAN BORDERS

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Union | Union County Robotics, Lick Creek 4-H Trystan was very active in his club, participating in unit, general show, animal show, speaking competition, community service projects, as well as a group Passport to the World project, which he took to the State Fair along with his individual weather project. “4-H means that I always have more neat things to learn.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Trystan has not yet decided what he wants to do when he grows up, but knows that 4-H will have taught him a lot about whatever it is that he chooses.

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ABAGAYLE BRITTON

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Pulaski | Villa Ridge Ag 4-H Club, Federation, Teen Teachers, State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team Abagayle took part in the 4-H Livestock and General Project shows along with exhibiting her animals and projects in the Illinois State Fair Junior Beef and Visual Arts shows. To expand her knowledge of the beef industry, Abagayle took dual credit college courses on animal husbandry and researched herd genetics, all while exhibiting her beef projects in over six different states. “To me 4-H means past, present, and future. 4-H is an organization that feels like home and has been built through the youth of today.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Abagayle plans to attend a junior college to receive an Associate of Science before transferring to Texas A&M to get a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

KEVIN BRITTON

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Pulaski | Village Ridge Ag 4-H, PulaskiAlexander Federation, Teen Teachers Kevin participated in the general and livestock shows at the County and State levels. He also spent time attending various shows and beef expos in order to learn more about raising, breeding, showing, and fitting his animals. This past year, he learned more about animal husbandry and genetics and, through IVF, had an embryo implanted in a past show heifer. They are now awaiting the arrival of their first calf on their farm, due in March! “4-H is a part of who I have grown up to be. My head, heart, hands, and health all represent things I’ve learned or participated in growing up. But above all, 4-H is friends.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Kevin is attending Cape Copters in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where he is learning to fly helicopters.

NATHAN BROWN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Montgomery | Starr Shooters, Montgomery County YLT Nathan has taken the goat project for the past seven years. During this time, he has given a “Marketing Your Goat Herd” talk for his club, done a goat demonstration for after-school kids, done a demonstration for International Virtual Farm Tour, and shown his goats at both the County and State Fairs. He even got the opportunity to participate in a job shadow experience with a vet performing surgery on a goat! “4-H provides opportunities for agricultural experiences for young people and helps them to grow as a leader and become responsible members of their community.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Nathan is still exploring options and areas of interests, but he plans to attend college and study in an agriculturerelated field.


BAILEY CALLAHAN

LEXANDRA COBIN

LAUREN CARLSON

CHRISTOPHER CORRIGAN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Rock Island | Magical Muggles President, Reporter, and Vice President Bailey joined the Hippology and Jr. Horse Bowl Team and studied to learn more about horses. Additionally, she participated in Regional and State competitions and virtual trainings and helped to plan and implement two community service projects for her club. “4-H to me means learning new things and teaching others what I’ve learned and meeting and making new friends.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Bailey would like to learn more about Veterinary Science and work with animals.

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Ogle | By-Y-Badgers 4-H Club Historian Lauren focused on growing her skills by working year-round on her project areas, which included woodworking, floriculture, cake decorating, foods, horticulture, visual arts, and photography. She also spent time giving back to the 4-H community by teaching other children and sharing her knowledge through Day of Dabbling, giving special presentations at meetings, and assisting any club members needing help. “4-H is not only a stepping stone for my future endeavors, but a family full of support, wisdom, and experience.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lauren plans to attend a four-year university to pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture.

JENNA CLEMMONS

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher, Teen Teachers Jenna’s favorite projects have included Visual Arts, Sewing, Foods, and Civic Engagement, all of which she has continued to take every year. Civic Engagement has given her the opportunity to come up with different service projects for her community, such as raising money and collecting donations for Crisis Nursery and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. Additionally, Jenna completed the Teen Teacher Training Program and participated in the Culture, Cuisine, and Conversations course online. “4-H is an opportunity to learn about many things, and also a chance to serve others. It has provided me with many opportunities to develop leadership skills as well as public speaking skills.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jenna plans to attend college but has not yet decided on her field of study. She is currently interested in Sports Broadcasting and Paleontology.

State Award: Food Systems Perry | Indians Lexandra has taken part in many projects over the years, including photography, refinished furniture, painting, clay sculptures, cake decorating, cooking, and candy-making. She has also helped with her high school FCCLA’s annual food drive. “4-H is an organization that helps you learn what good you are able to do in this world. It teaches you different skills that can help you throughout your whole life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lexandra plans to continue her cheer career while attending McKendree University for a Masters in Athletic Training

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Livingston | Graymont Achievers 4-H Club, Livingston County 4-H Federation Christopher participated in leadership activities both within 4-H and at Pontiac Township High School, which helped him in his leadership project. In addition to Leadership, his other projects this past year included Civic Engagement, Passport to the World (both club and individual), Aerospace, Health, Sports Nutrition, and many others. To support his Leadership project, he assisted with a meal packaging event for 4-H. “4-H means that I have new opportunities to participate in, including local, county, regional, state, and national events.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Christopher plans to attend a four-year college to major in Agribusiness.

EMMA COURSEY

State Award: Animal Science Warren | Willing Workers 4-H Club, Warren County Federation, Warren County Foundation Board, Illinois State 4-H YLT, Illinois State Livestock Ambassador Team, Illinois State 4-H Foundation Board Through her experience taking her Animal Science project to the State Fair General Project Show and her time showing livestock and doing research throughout the year, Emma has been able to zero in on the passion that she has for the industry. This even led to her decision to choose Animal Science as her college major! This choice was solidified when Emma had the opportunity to work at both a pig farm and a veterinary clinic. She hopes to be able to use these experiences and her future degree to give back to 4-H and her community. “4-H means an equal opportunity to success. Because of 4-H, I know I will be successful in my future and am confident that 4-H has shown me how to thrive in my next steps.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Emma will be attending Iowa State University in the Fall of 2022 with a major in Animal Science and minor in Spanish. She hopes to become a professor at a major university while continuing research in her field.

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EMILEE COX

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Hamilton | Barbwire Gang, Hamilton County Federation, Teen Teacher, Junior Leader Emilee has spent the last year focusing on expanding her project learning horizons. She went to many Visual Arts related events, such as Painting Crosswalks for National Day of Service. She also furthered her knowledge in Horticulture and Floriculture and taught younger children at the GIFT Garden about vegetables, fruits, flowers, and more. One of Emilee’s favorite things was going to the State Fair for her handmade buzzbaits, she even got best in show for them! “To me, 4-H represents family and community love. It represents having leaders and friends that will be by my side no matter what. It represents having new connections with your community. It represents helping me learn and grow as a person. Lastly, it represents forming the leaders of tomorrow.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Emilee plans on going to college in a STEM field, possibly focusing on Engineering.

MORGAN CROUCH

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macon | Maroa Livestock 4-H Club Morgan has learned many hands-on leadership skills that have served her both in 4-H and within other academic and agricultural youth groups. Working sheep, swine animal science, photography, and foods have allowed her to build her confidence while talking to a group of peers and young adults. Morgan is also passionate about community service and enjoys giving time to shelters, rescues, and vet clinics. “4-H is something that has allowed me to grow into a better person, leader, and agricultural advocate.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Morgan hopes to attend the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine and work with large animals.

TAYLOR CROUCH

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Macon | Maroa Livestock 4-H Club Taylor has explored many topics through 4-H, from animal projects to design projects involving flowers that she purchased and raised. She has been in floriculture with a design of dried flowers and took this opportunity to learn about many different flowers and their names. Taylor also spent time growing a floral design business using the lessons she learned in 4-H, which has allowed her to explore Ag Business Management as a career. “4-H means opportunity, focus, and learning to me because it has taught me to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and learn more about my passions in agriculture.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Taylor hopes to attend the University of Illinois to study Ag Business Management.

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DARCY CUMMINGS

Diamond Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Fantastic Fours 4-H Club, 4-H Federation, Teen Teachers, Macoupin County Hunger Ambassadors Darcy participated in as many leadership opportunities as possible, including trainings and chances to mentor fellow 4-H club members. Attending the virtual Our Future, Our Voice training helped expand her understanding of 4-H. “4-H means helping others while setting a good example, doing your best, and always trying to get better.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Darcy plans to attend Veterinary Technician School to begin a career in that field.

TRACE CUMMINGS

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Fantastic Fours 4-H Club, 4-H Federation, Teen Teachers, Macoupin County Hunger Ambassadors Trace participated in as many leadership opportunities as possible, including trainings and chances to mentor fellow 4-H club members. Attending the virtual Our Future, Our Voice training helped to broaden his understanding of 4-H and its impact. “4-H means helping others, learning new things, working on improving skills, and leading peers.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Trace will attend college to study Video Game Design.

ANNA CURLEY

State Award: Animal Science Emerald Project Learning Experience Award McDonough | McDonough County 4-H Goal Diggers, McDonough County 4-H Federation Anna has taken a wide variety of projects, from cooking to visual arts to photography, and more! This year, she was able to accomplish one of her goals by receiving the SYP Award. She also was runner-up in the Master Showmanship contest after having won it two years ago. In addition to working diligently in all of her project areas, Anna has also participated in many community service activities. “4-H has guided me to develop organizational skills, for I learned how to juggle Federation meetings, club meetings, 4-H activities, community service projects, and participating in school and other organizations.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Anna plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the College of ACES to earn a degree in Agribusiness Markets and Management.


REMINGTON CURRY

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Pope-Hardin | Pope County Clover Crew, PopeHardin Federation, Southern Busters Livestock Judging Team Remington attended workshops of projects that he was interested in and even took a trip that was based on his project areas. He has held leadership positions in both his club and county and has hosted and helped with workshops for his county and unit. “4-H to me is one big family.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Remington plans to graduate from Southeastern Illinois College in 2023 and then transfer to Murray State where he will obtain a degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agriculture Education.

SARAH DARNELL

Sustaining the Future Award Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Hamilton | County Line Crew, Hamilton County Federation, Teen Teachers Sarah spent time going to different county and unit level events that could widen her knowledge about all of her projects. She also took time to really step into her role as a Teen Teacher and began to take on more responsibilities at the county level. During her time in 4-H, Sarah has gotten the chance to attend Illini Summer Academies twice as well as participate in Legislative Connection and many other leadership opportunities. “4-H is a place where I can go to enjoy myself. It allows me to be able to help others and have my voice heard.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Sarah plans to attend SIU and major in Forestry. After college, she hopes to become an interpretive park ranger.

BENJAMIN DIAZ

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | All School 4-H Club, Federation, Shotgun Club, eSports Club, Cooking, Culture, and Cuisine Club Benjamin participated in several statewide 4-H activities in order to advance his skills and project mastery. He participated in a state eSports competition, planned and led multiple eSports activities for a regional youth conference, and was a state fair delegate. Benjamin also assisted with the STEAM Expo at the Illinois State Fair! He also took the opportunity to expand his horizons this year by joining a 4-H Shotgun Club and serving as the Treasurer for his All-School 4-H Club. “To me, 4-H is a place I can explore new opportunities, advance my education, develop leadership skills, and build confidence in what I do.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Benjamin is interested in a future career that utilizes technology and can help improve his existing skills.

NAOMI DOLAN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Vermilion | Snider Kickapoo Inc., Vermilion County 4-H Federation, Vermilion County 4-H Teen Teachers, Illinois 4-H YLT, Illinois 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors Naomi focused both on further expanding her knowledge in her project areas by participating in and facilitating activities such as the Unit 20 Healthy Habits Challenge and Culture, Cuisine, and Conversation, and kickstarting her learning in her new project area of Geology by shadowing and observing at Black Sheep GeoServices, Inc. as they took Core soil samples via GeoTechnical SPT Drilling. She showed Health, Intercultural, and Geology, among other projects, at the Vermilion County Fair and advanced her Intercultural project to the Illinois State Fair. “4-H opens up a world of opportunities that allow one to meet new people, step outside of their comfort zone, explore personal areas of interest, and help foster change in their communities and lives.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Naomi plans to finish her Associate’s Degree in Science at Danville Area Community College, then transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study Geology and Astronomy. She hopes to work as a researcher or professor with a specialization in Planetary Geology.

JORGI DUPUREUR

State Award: Creative Performing Arts & Communication Tazewell | Tazewell Country Club, Federation Jorgi wrote her first book when she was seven, which led her to discover a passion for all things communications. She has used these communication skills in Speech and Leadership, which are her favorite area of projects to enter in. Jorgi has gone to State for Speech and Leadership in the past, and this summer received a Superior Award for her Leadership book. She serves as Vice President of her 4-H club and Secretary of Federation. “4-H allows you to express yourself and forces you to think outside of the box to create something new and different.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jorgi plans to go to college and earn a Master’s Degree in either Business or English.

AVERY EDLER

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Will | Willing Wilton Workers, Will County Tailwaggers Avery enrolled in many projects and brought a project to the State Fair where it won first place. She also participated in workshops and looked for opportunities to apply her knowledge both inside and outside of 4-H. In addition, Avery held the office of Secretary in her club and participated in community service opportunities. “4-H is a way to show people my ideas and improve the community while exploring my interests.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Avery plans to pursue a career in science or medicine and would like to have a job that will help people.

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VANESSA EDLER

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Will | Willing Wilton Workers, Will County Tailwaggers Vanessa enrolled and exhibited in many projects this past year. She made a point of learning more about each of those areas and enjoyed making exhibits that taught others. Vanessa encouraged her county Extension Office to allow them to have a county cat show and worked to actively recruit other 4-H members to show their cats! “4-H is important to me because I am given the opportunity to interest others in things that interest me and meet others that have similar interests. It also allows me to learn new things.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Vanessa would like a career where she can educate others about large cats in their natural environments.

KATELYN ENGEL

State Award: Leadership Knox | Delong Livestock 4-H Club, Knox County 4-H Federation, Illinois State 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team, Illinois State Livestock Judging Team Katelyn served in many leadership positions, both locally and state-wide, with the hope to make a positive impact on Illinois 4-H. She has been extremely active in livestock judging on the county, state, and national levels as well as exhibiting beef cattle and doing other projects, like clothing and cake decorating. “4-H is an organization which offers endless possibilities to be who you want and it helps youth all over the nation find their passion. 4-H is also a pathway to a successful career and adult life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Katelyn is currently attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and working toward her major in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications as well as minors in Animal Science and Food and Agribusiness Management. She hopes to use her degree to become an agricultural broadcaster.

CARINA ENGST

State Award: Civic Engagement & Global Living Emerald Project Learning Experience Award McLean | 4-H Teen Teachers SPIN Club, 4-H Teen Teachers Leadership Team, Illinois 4-H YLT, University of Illinois Illini Summer Academy Production Team Involvement in 4-H enabled Carina to develop life-long skills such as the ability to think critically, to communicate clearly, to problem solve, and to work collaboratively with others within leadership roles. Through opportunities ranging from Teen Teaching to completing fair entries to Youth Leadership Team, she has grown more outgoing and confident. Furthermore, 4-H helped Carina to overcome adversities, such as a fear of public speaking. She has learned much through volunteering and looks forward to continuing her path of civic engagement while in college. “4-H to me means growth, leadership, friendships, mentors, and family. 4-H means collaborating with others, learning, and building for the future. 4-H means generating new ideas, working as a team, and making a difference. 4-H means warmth and joy in your heart when you see a smile on someone’s face because of your contributions.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Carina plans to attend college with a focus in Biological Science before entering Dental School at the graduate level. She hopes to set aside time monthly to provide free dental services to those who cannot afford proper care. 10

MEGAN EPPEL

Deb Stocker Youth Leadership Team Scholarship Lake | YLT During her 10 years as a 4-H member, Megan has been on the Youth Leadership Team and the Lake County 4-H Ambassadors. She has also organized and participated in many different community service events. “4-H to me means endless opportunities to improve my leadership skills.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Megan plans to attend the University of Mississippi to major in Business Management and Marketing.

LILY FRAZEE

State Award: Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Sangamon | Sugar Creek Pioneers, 4-H Ambassadors Lily’s main project has been designing and managing a prairie restoration area on her family farm in order to provide a healthy habitat for native pollinators and other species. Through various 4-H projects, she has learned how to cultivate fruits, vegetables, and flowers in a way that produces healthy foods and soils. Lily has also completed a number of art projects and been involved in computer science projects through a 4-H Robotics team. “4-H provides members with opportunities to explore our interests, pursue our passions, and combine our skills with fellow youth to make a positive difference.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lily plans to attend college to study Civil and Environmental Engineering and to work as an engineer in soil and water conservation.

JUSTIN GERGEN

State Award: Leadership DuPage | Trinity Trailblazers Justin serves as the President of his 4-H club where he organizes and conducts monthly meetings throughout the year, as well as mentoring others within his group. He has led his club in a variety of service projects, including preparing meals for the needy and creating care packages for cancer patients at Phil’s Friends. In addition to leading his team in county and state level Intercultural projects, Justin has enjoyed presenting and winning awards for individual projects such as cooking and electricity in the state and county fairs. “In all, I would say that 4-H is a place for you to discover. Discovering yourself, discovering the power of friendship and collaboration, and discovering just what you are capable of doing to change the world in a meaningful way.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Justin plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering.


BRAYLEE GILMORE

Sustaining the Future Award State Award: Healthy Living & Nutrition Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Crazy Clovers 4-H Club, Macoupin County Top Shots Shooting Sports, Macoupin County 4-H Federation, Macoupin County 4-H Committee, Teen Teachers, Unit 18 YLT, Speaking for Illinois 4-H Braylee was a Club Officer for 10 years and planned community service activities. She also joined leadership groups such as County 4-H Federation and Committee and Unit 18 YLT. Braylee also spent time doing community service through Bee City USA and Tree City USA as well as activities for long-term care facilities, local animal shelters, and food pantries. “4-H to me is a place to find your voice and your life ambitions.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Braylee plans to attend a trade school for certification in Animal Behavior as well as attend college for a degree in Ag Business.

WYLD GILMORE

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Crazy Clovers 4-H Club, Macoupin County Top Shots Shooting Sports Wyld was a club officer and participated in local and national level community service efforts. He has participated in many projects, from Sportfishing to Leather Working. “I think 4-H is about finding what interests you and learning as you try new things.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Wyld plans to complete middle school and move on to high school.

PALIN GOEBEL

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Grundy | Coal City Community 4-H Club, Grundy County 4-H Federation Vice President, Grundy Teen Teachers, Clube solo Fertile Palin helped lead a small group Passport to the World project and exhibited an individual Passport to the World project on St. Lucia at the State Fair. His favorite 4-H project was Interlocking Plastics. Palin also participated in the international pen pal program, volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, and worked cooperatively with the Gleaners to plant trees in his area. “4-H means that I have the opportunity to help others and mentor younger members and show them the opportunities that are available to them through 4-H.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Palin is currently attending Joliet Junior College and majoring in Geography. He plans to finish his studies and become a cartographer.

NICK GORBACH

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Rock Island | Trailblazers 4-H Club Nick competed in Regional Horse Bowl, State Hippology, and placed top 5 in State Horse Judging. He participated in many club and unit project learning workshops in order to learn more about his 14 project areas. Nick showed projects or completed presentations for each of his project areas and qualified for the State Fair with 9 projects. He also served as Treasurer for his 4-H club. “I love showing my projects at the fair! I like both talking to the judges and making the projects. I also love Horse Bowl and buzzing in with my friends.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Nick would like to become an architect, a farmer, and sell custom-made furniture when he grows up.

JENNA HAAS

State Award: Food Systems Jo Daviess | Chelsea Busy Bees, Jo Daviess Federation “4-H means building friendships and becoming a more well-rounded individual. 4-H means giving back to my community and helping those who are in need. 4-H has shaped the person who I have become through building my leadership and gaining friendships in every activity I participate in.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jenna plans to attend University of Missouri – Columbia, majoring in Animal Science and minoring in Agriculture Journalism.

LAUREN HAAS

State Award: STEM/Robotics Tazewell | Tremont Co-Op Senior Lauren participated in many projects, including Cooking, Health, Woodworking, and Electricity. Lauren also took part in various community service projects such as picking up garbage alongside rural roads, packing food kits at Midwest Food Bank, and washing windows at an independent senior living facility. “4-H helped me learn new skills I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn otherwise.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lauren hopes to attend the Radiography program at Illinois Central College.

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MATIAS HABIB

Sustaining the Future Award State Award: Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Kendall | Science Ambassadors, Millbrook Mighty Ones, Ag Innovators Through his 4-H Entomology projects, Matias conducted extensive research on an invasive species, the Japanese Beetle. He studied natural methods of control, and eventually developed an effective bio-pesticide that works to protect foliage while still able to repel and kill the beetles. He launched his business, TerraBuster, to manufacture and sell his bio-pesticides, which are now sold locally in nurseries and through his online store. Matias is also very involved in Science Ambassadors, a group dedicated to educating youth in science through fun learning activities. “4-H means opportunity, challenge, friendships, and personal growth. 4-H allows youth to expand their horizons, learn new skills, and develop into leaders.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Matias plans to attend a top university where he will explore his interests in science, engineering, and agriculture.

MAKENNA HARDING

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Macoupin | Crazy Clovers This past year, Makenna completed a variety of Visual Arts-based workshops and events where she was able to enhance her creative side and also participated in 4-H Cook and Connect along with other cooking lessons through 4-H. She also took advantage of opportunities to attend the Illinois State Fair, 4-H National Day of Service, Officer’s Training, and took part in community service in her local community and beyond. “4-H provides me the opportunity to learn new things, teaches me how I can give back to others, and is fun.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Makenna will finish middle school and then go to high school. She plans to go to college, but is not yet sure what she wants to study.

PAYTON HARDING

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Macoupin | Crazy Clovers Payton participated in a variety of cooking workshops and events, including 4-H Cook & Connect, in order to enhance her Cooking 201 project. She also won the State 4-H Archery Virtual Shoot in her age division, and participated in various photography contests and workshops both inside and outside of 4-H. This year, Payton took part in 4-H Officer’s Training, the International Pen Pal program, the Illinois State Fair, National Day of Service, and a wide variety of community service throughout the 4-H year. “4-H teaches me how to be a leader, how to work well with others, and allows me to try new things. It helps me be a better person.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Payton will finish middle school and then attend Carlinville High School.

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ANNSLEY HEALY

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award White | Enfield Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, White County 4-H Federation Throughout her 4-H career, Annsley has shown a number of projects, including Swine and Corn, and even presented programs to her club on how to judge swine and how to estimate corn yield. She also attended the Illinois 4-H Junior Livestock Conference. Along with her club, Annsley participated in the National Day of Service, as well as a number of local service events, including leading a project for her club to make cards for their local nursing home residents. “4-H means the opportunity for learning and leadership experiences, community service, and friendships.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Annsley plans to attend college to study Agriculture. She would like to eventually own her own cattle company.

JULIAN HEIDRICH

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Kendall County | Barn and Beyond 4-H Club, Kendall County 4-H Federation, Extension Unit 5 Science Ambassadors, Leadership Team, Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team Julian worked with the Science Ambassadors program in his unit to create and teach science curriculum to youth, and especially underprivileged youth, in his local area. Julian is an active member of the state 4-H Youth Leadership team and has served on the Illini Summer Academies Planning Committee. “4-H is a place where kids have opportunities to learn and grow while developing important life skills and becoming prepared and excited about their future.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Julian is attending college studying computer science.

SOFIE HEIDRICH

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Kendall | Barn and Beyond 4-H Club President, Kendall County Teen Federation, Unit 5 Science Ambassador Member, Unit 5 Science Ambassador Leadership Team Secretary, Kendall County Expansion and Review Youth Representative, Kendall County 4-H Foundation Youth Representative In the past year, Sofie has presented and participated in the 2021 National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science, been the 2021 Vice President of the Barn and Beyond 4-H Club, designed, planned, and led Community Rain Garden at the Kendall County Extension Office, facilitated a Curb your Carbon Appetite activity at after school programs, and planned statewide trainings on Water Connects Us All. She also participated in Kendall Walk 4 Charity, Kindness Challenge, was an Officer Training Leader, and showcased multiple project areas at the Kendall County fair, showing Civic Engagement at the State Fair. “New opportunities to learn and grow, try new things, and meet new people.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Sofie plans to attend college, but has not yet decided on a career path.


KLARISSA HELTON

State Award: Personal Growth Logan | Middletown 4-Hers, Logan County 4-H Ambassadors, Teen Teacher for Cloverbud Camp, Teen Teacher for Cooking Class, Cloverbud Judge Over the last several years, Klarissa has been a Teen Teacher, done community service with her club, held every 4-H officer position, and served on many committees. She wants to be a teacher one day in order to make a difference in children’s lives, to be there for them so they know that she cares. This past year, a goal she had for herself was to get every 4-H member to have a part in decisionmaking and to feel that they are valuable to their club. This year, Klarissa tried a new project where she purchased a calf to raise and show and has loved the experience. She cannot wait to show at the County and Illinois State Fairs! “4-H has taught me so many life skills, such as leadership, responsibility, communication skills, and how to work and get along with others.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Klarissa plans to go to college to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Business. She wants to become an elementary school teacher, possibly a special education teacher.

LYDIA HEREN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | Champaign Shamrocks One of Lydia’s project areas this year was Passport to the World. She was able to participate in a virtual cooking experience at the multi-county level and learned about Japan through a virtual event hosted by the National 4-H Exchange Office. Lydia also attended a leadership training program through the 4-H Office, which helped her to organize service opportunities for her club to help at a local thrift store. Additionally, she took time to learn new skills by participating in the Arrowhead Archery Club and Cosmic Coder Robotics Club. “An opportunity to learn or pursue skills I otherwise may not be exposed to, such as cake decorating or archery.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lydia is considering pursuing a degree in Psychology and a career helping neurodiverse children and adults navigate life in our society.

ELENA HEVRDEJS

State Award: Creative Performing Arts & Communication Lake | Lucky Ducks 4-H Club Elena participated in the Visual Arts and Sewing projects for the past 6 years, earning recognition and taking them downstate multiple times. She held many leadership positions in and out of her club, taking initiative to serve and lead in her 4-H community. “4-H gives me a place to learn and practice communication, innovation, and apply skills such as problem-solving.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Elena plans to study Studio Art and Theater and work in costume creation for performances.

SOPHIA HOLMES

State Award: Food Systems Emerald Leadership Experience Award Cook | Creative Clovers Sophia is currently serving as the President of the Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team and worked with the team to coordinate their first Food Action Summit and first annual food drive campaign. She also organized Suppers for Security, a countywide service project that provided 360 meals to those experiencing food insecurity in Chicago. Through 4-H, Sophia has competed in county and state level speech competitions, spoken at the National 4-H Summit for Healthy Living, organized several service projects, and participated in the Standing Together Taking Action SPIN Club. “To me, 4-H means opportunity. From presenting at a national conference to working alongside a diverse team of dedicated peers, 4-H has provided me with innumerable opportunities to educate myself and others to benefit my club, my community, my country, and my world.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Sophia is currently attending Smith College and is planning to major in American Studies with the goal of serving in Teach for America and going into academia or advocacy.

EMMA HUGHES

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Montgomery | Montgomery County YLT, Clovers 4-H Club, Teen Teachers “4-H is the place where I could find success, grow my leadership skills, and explore new interests. My experiences in 4-H have made me a better person and helped me learn about ways I can make a difference in the world. 4-H empowered me to be a changemaker.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Emma is debating careers in special education and legislation.

JUSTIN IRWIN

State Award: Animal Science Boone | Northern Heritage 4-H Club, Boone County 4-H Federation Justin has had a dairy project for 8 years and a poultry project for 2 years. As part of his dairy project, he has been involved with Dairy Quiz Bowl on the county, state, and national levels. Additionally, he has been involved with Dairy Judging and has completed posters for Animal Science as well. Justin has also served in multiple leadership roles in his club and at Federation, as well as been on a variety of committees, even chairing some of them. One thing Justin really enjoys doing is community service activities, with some of his favorites including Fall Food Drive, Valentines for the Nursing Home, and Hometown Christmas. “4-H has given me the opportunity to try many new things and the ability to focus on things I really enjoy. I’ve also been able to serve others in my community through various service projects. Through 4-H I have met many people and made many good friends.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Justin is exploring educational opportunities and careers in animal science or mechanical technology.

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QUINN JAMES

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Whiteside | Cottonwood 4-H Club, Whiteside Federation This past year, Quinn was on the CGH Mask Up Campaign to promote wearing a mask and was even on a billboard in Sterling, IL with other 4-H members! She was Federation Secretary, President of her club, Chairman of their Window Display Committee for National 4-H Week, and a Junior Leader for her club, helping teach Cloverbud projects during meetings. This year, Quinn attended the Volunteer Leadership Conference and was a part of Whiteside County Digital Ambassadors, which taught senior citizens basic computer skills. She also had the opportunity to go to the State Fair with her scrapbook and received Reserve Champion. “4-H has allowed me to be who I am today. 4-H has taught me many useful skills that I will use the rest of my life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Quinn will attend UW-Platteville in the Animal Science program, possibly minoring in Agribusiness.

ASHLEIGH JANSSEN

Sustaining the Future Award, Youth Education in Agriculture Committee Tazewell | Tazewell County Federation, Green Valley Toilers/Purple Ribbons, Illinois State 4-H YLT Ashleigh was active in 4-H at county, unit, and state levels. She was involved in her club, county Federation, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, and the State Youth Leadership Team. “To me, 4-H means family. You get to meet so many people that you can become so close with that they become your 4-H family.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Ashleigh plans to become a high school agriculture teacher.

HANNAH JOHNSON

State Award: Personal Growth Fulton | Logan Leaders, Fulton County Federation During her time in 4-H, Hannah served as her club’s Secretary, participated in her county’s Federation, performed various service projects, and presented projects at the State Fair. One project that helped her grow the most as a person is called Build Your Future. Over three years, Hannah completed personality tests, researched various careers, shadowed an optometrist, and realized that she actually has a passion for biomedical engineering! “To me, 4-H is all about the motto ‘to make the best better’. 4-H has truly made me a better person by exposing me to various experiences, pushing me to try new things, and providing me with an incredibly supportive community. Furthermore, I have learned the importance of giving back to my community and helping to make the world a better place.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Hannah plans to major in Biomedical Engineering and would like to have a career designing medical devices or pharmaceutical drugs at a biomedical research facility.

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ANTHONY JOINER

State Award: Civic Engagement & Global Living Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Fantastic Fours 4-H Club, Macoupin County Hunger Ambassadors, Macoupin County Federation, Expansion and Review Committee, Livestock Committee, Teen Teachers, Unit 18 YLT, Illinois Food Advocacy Team, Illinois YLT Anthony worked on projects, went to conferences, and attended workshops at the club, county, multi-county, state, and national levels. He also had the opportunity to attend both National Congress and National Conference. “4-H means hard work, which sometimes results in frustrations and failures that I learn from. The friendships, the connections, the mentors will all be a part of me for the rest of my life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Anthony will be attending Lincoln Land Community College before transferring to a university to complete his degree in Agribusiness with a minor in Agronomy.

SARALYNN JOINER

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Fantastic Fours 4-H Club, Macoupin County Hunger Ambassadors, Macoupin County Federation, Expansion and Review Committee, Livestock Committee, Teen Teachers, Unit 18 YLT, Illinois Food Advocacy Team Saralynn served in many capacities at the club, county, multi-county, state, and national level. She was actively involved in many community service activities that helped to promote 4-H as well as community involvement. “4-H is lifelong lessons/experiences, lifelong friends, and lifelong memories. 4-H is shaping me into an adult prepared for making a difference in the world.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Saralynn is currently a sophomore at Carlinville High School.

JILLIAN JONES

Diamond Leadership Experience Award Pope | Pope County Clover Crew This past year, Jillian demonstrated at workshops, including a woodworking workshop where they made benches and tables for the youth tunnel. She also helped out with their International Night for the Cloverbuds. Additionally, Jillian took the opportunity to speak about her experiences going to different camps sponsored by 4-H, including Junior Leadership Conference and Camp LEAD. “It is a chance for opportunity.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jillian would like to attend a local college so that she can still be involved in her 4-H club and Federation. She is currently deciding between studying to be a marine biologist or a communications teacher.


ERIN KISTNER

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Montgomery | Starr Shooters 4-H, Montgomery County 4-H Foundation, Illinois Food Advocacy Team This past year, Erin continued her work coordinating the High School Weekend Food program, which she developed as a Hunger Ambassador. As a National 4-H Youth in Action finalist, she was able to share 4-H and program success through television, radio, magazine, and other media. Erin also had opportunities to develop training videos, present at the National Food Summit, attend Officer Training, Interview Skills, and various other workshops, as well as be a Judge’s Assistant at the Illinois State Fair. “4-H has offered me opportunities to expand leadership, communication, and life skills, while a passion for community service.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Erin will attend St. Charles College and major in Communication.

J. ALDEN KNODLE

State Award: Civic Engagement & Global Living Montgomery | Starr Shooters 4-H Club Vice President This past year, Alden made it a point to attend and participate in as many 4-H activities and meetings as possible. He served as a Junior Firefighter with the Fillmore Fire Department and used the methods and knowledge gained through that experience to win the State Civic Engagement Award. Alden also participated in community service projects like donating food to food pantries, cleaning up local towns, picking up trash, setting up recycling bins, and packing food for students in need. “4-H to me means an opportunity to help and learn more about myself. Also to establish social connections and guide the youth throughout their upcoming years as a member.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Alden plans to attend the University of Illinois to earn a degree in Ag Business.

HALIE KOHL

Sustaining the Future Award Kankakee | Cabery Specials 4-H Club During her time in 4-H, Halie held many offices within various clubs, serving as the reporter of the Herscher FFA Chapter, treasurer of HHS Student Council, social media specialist of HHS SADD, as well as the treasurer and secretary of Cabery Specials 4-H Club. She raised approximately two head of barrows throughout each of her 4-H years and exhibited them at the Kankakee County Fair. She also created Halie’s Farmstand, a roadside produce stand, which she stocked with produce that she grew in her garden, which filled the need for fresh produce in her community. “Great leaders need to inspire, encourage, and motivate others and that’s exactly what 4-H did for me.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Halie is currently a high school senior participating in the early college program through Kankakee Community College where she is working towards her General Education Associate’s degree in Science. She will then transfer to Illinois State University to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness. She hopes to secure a position in finance, product development, or ag commodities.

KIERSTAN LAMPE

State Award: Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Clinton | Aviston Aces, Clinton County Leaders of Tomorrow During her time in 4-H, Kierstan has been a club treasurer, teen leader, been involved in shooting sports, attended 4-H camp, and been a member of the Horse Bowl and Hippology clubs. She has also taught many workshops and participated in community service such as roadside clean-ups, Veterans Honor Flight bags, and other community service. “To me, 4-H means creating lasting relationships, exploring new opportunities, and bettering myself and my community.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Kierstan plans on attending a university where she will major in an agricultural field.

RACHEL LANDS

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Saline | Pleasant Valley Go Getters, Saline County 4-H Federation Rachel is currently the President of the Saline County 4-H Federation and has held several officer positions. She is also active in many other 4-H activities such as Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Legislative Connection, Illini Summer Academies, State Public Speaking Contest, and serving as a youth representative in her county. She also was active in promoting her club during National 4-H Week by attending mayoral proclamations and coordinating 4-H window displays. “To me, 4-H means countless opportunities. Opportunities to lead, serve, and learn.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Rachel plans to attend her local community college to earn her Associate’s degree before transferring to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has not yet decided what she would like to major in.

LIBBY LARKIN

State Award: Healthy Living & Nutrition Emerald Leadership Experience Award Livingston | Pontiac Power Rockets 4-H Club, Livingston County Federation, Teen Teachers, Digital Ambassadors Libby is passionate about food advocacy and hosts food packaging events in her community that have distributed 85,000 meals. She is also a member of the Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team and the Speaking for Illinois 4-H Team. “4-H has laid the foundation for me to grow as a leader by developing my communication skills and leadership skills. 4-H has provided me endless opportunities and has taught me the importance of hard work, dedication, helping others, and having fun.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Libby would like to play golf in college while pursuing a degree in Agriculture.

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PAIGE LEMENAGER

Sustaining the Future Award Youth Education in Agriculture Committee McLean | Hudson Ag | Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team As a member of the Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team, Paige invested her time to create leadership, team-building, and handson experiences centered around livestock production and exhibition alongside her teammates. Each year at the Illinois State Fair, Paige worked by scoring management tests and setting up supplies for the skill-a-thon portion of the Superior Young Producers Contest. She was also responsible for leading workshops and checking in participants upon arrival at the Illinois 4-H Youth Livestock Conference. Paige was recently elected Social Media Chair, where it was her primary responsibility to share upcoming events with members through various social media outlets. “4-H laid the foundation for me to grow as a leader by developing my communication skills and ability to actively work in a team setting.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Paige plans to study Agricultural Economics with a goal of becoming an agricultural attorney.

LAUREN LUKER

State Award: STEM/Robotics Edwards | Edwards County 4-H “4-H has taught me the fundamentals of being a good leader and group member.” Lauren’s community service work serves as inspiration for her art and to inspire her to do great things ~ every year she helps set up a flag display in her community square for important holidays, helping to coordinate the display of hundreds of donated flags. EDUCATION & CAREER: Lauren is currently enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Once she graduates high school, she will work as a nursing assistant while attending Purdue University to receive her Bachelor’s in Nursing. She would like to work in the Emergency Room or in the Intensive Care Unit before returning to school to earn her Master’s Degree and ultimately working as a Nurse Practitioner.

COURTNEY LYNN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Hamilton | Barbwire Gang, Federation, Teen Teachers, Speaking for Illinois 4-H One of Courtney’s favorite parts of 4-H is being a Teen Teacher. She loves teaching others what she has learned and she loves seeing the kids learn new skills. She also uses her Outdoor Adventures, Rabbits, Poultry, Goats, and Visual Arts projects to showcase her project learning. “To me 4-H means a chance to make yourself better. It gives kids an opportunity to not only learn valuable skills, but it allows them to make friends that last a lifetime.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Courtney will attend Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science to earn a Mortuary degree.

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KATELYN MARLEY

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Montgomery | Starr Shooters 4-H Club, Montgomery County Straight Shooters Archery Club Katelyn has participated in many activities through 4-H such as the State Public Speaking Contest, Regional Archery Shoot, a virtual farm tour demonstration to 4-H members in Asia, Culture, Cuisine, & Conversation, and small business development Zoom workshop. In addition, Katelyn participated in Wreaths Across America to help honor veterans. “4-H means opportunity. It allows me to discover and explore different interests through projects. I also enjoy meeting new people and learning and growing from sharing experiences.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Katelyn hopes to go to college to study PreMed.

BRADEN MAY

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Massac | Happy Hillbillies, Johnson County Shooting Sports “4-H to me is an experience to never forget. It has provided me with leadership, cooperation, and speaking skills that have better improved for the future.” Braden is a National Shooting Sports Ambassador for Illinois 4-H. He also supports his church by running the website, Facebook Lives, and sound booth. EDUCATION & CAREER: Braden plans to attend college to study Computer Programming.

GRACE L. MCCARTY

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award White | Grayville Go-Getters 4-H Club Grace served as president of her local 4-H club last year and was very active in local club events, projects, workshops, competitions, and community service projects. She organized a purse drive that collected purses and hygiene items that delivered 60 filled purses to a local women’s shelter. “4-H means to me that you build friendships, create leadership skills, and build teamwork between 4-H members.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Grace hopes to go to college to study to become either a veterinarian or an agronomist.


AUSTIN MCNAMARA

State Award: Creative Performing Arts & Communication McHenry | Community Cloverleaves 4-H Club, Ambassadors, Federation 4-H has allowed Austin to grow and showcase his leadership abilities through being a club officer and serving as a Federation ambassador. Austin is also passionate about his accomplishments in public speaking, both in 4-H and as a thespian in his high school theater group, and through the Dale Carnegie course where he received the Highest Award of Achievement. “I feel 4-H has made me a better person in my ability to communicate with all generations.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Austin hopes to get a higher education to learn more about what opportunities are out there. He sees himself working in a position where he is interacting with people on a daily basis.

ELIZABETH MELTON

State Award: Personal Growth Kane | A Bit More 4-H Club, Kane County 4-H Ambassadors Elizabeth helped lead her 4-H club as Vice President and as President of 4-H Ambassadors. In addition to leadership, she also gained skills as she learned how to compete in horse shows, and explored other projects such as dog showing, public speaking, visual arts and woodworking. She enjoys giving back to her community by participating in club community service events. “I think that 4-H means opportunity. In 4-H you are given the opportunity to meet new friends, try new activities, and ultimately grow as a stronger leader and individual as you are constantly exposed to new learning experiences.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Elizabeth will be majoring in Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She hopes to have a career as an FBI Intelligence Analyst.

CLARE MONTAVON

State Award: Creative Performing Arts & Communication Ogle | Mighty Clovers Clare has been creating stained glass for the last four years, with her projects getting progressively more difficult as she challenged herself and learned new techniques, with each piece taking 60 hours or more to create. When she’s not creating art, Clare is active in teaching workshops, participating in club community service activities such as volunteering at the local food bank, collecting supplies for the local humane society, making cards for nursing home residents, and more. “4-H is my family. I am grateful for the close bond I share with others, the life skills I have learned along the way, and all of the wonderful memories that I hold close to my heart.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Clare will attend Rock Valley College and then transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. She would like to have a career where she can do pharmaceutical drug research.

ABI MUNAR

Diamond Leadership Experience Award Kendall | Millbrook Mighty Ones, Kendall County Teen Federation Abi has attended county officers’ training and served as a club correspondence secretary and vice president. In addition, she has attended the Junior Leadership Conference, the Junior Livestock Conference, and Food Action Summit. Outside of 4-H, Abi serves on the Camp Shaw-Waw-Nas-See Camper Advisory Council, as a Kindness Rocks chairperson, and Little Free Library coordinator. “4-H is a place to grow, meet new friends, and experience a variety of activities.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Abi plans to finish high school.

NATHAN FERNANDO MUNOZ-LO

State Award: STEM & Robotics Cook | Clever Clovers Nathan has helped other youth explore STEM by redesigning Mission to Mars into a virtual experience ~ redesigning the kit, using SCRATCH coding, and teaching the program. Nathan also used his engineering skills to place first at the 4-H Memorial Camp Boat Regatta, Cook County Junkyard Robotics, and State Technology Competition In addition, he is an Inspire Award winner and participant in the 4-H Food Insecurity Program. EDUCATION & CAREER: Nathan plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

KRISH NANGIA

Emerald Leadership Experience Award DuPage | 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors, Illinois State 4-H YLT Krish has focused much of his 4-H project work in STEM/Leadership, serving as the president of the 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors Club, social chair and secretary of the Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team, and planning and teaching statewide workshops like 4-H Ag Innovators and Junior Leadership Conference and national workshops like the National 4-H Youth Summit for Agriscience. He also attended Citizen Washington Focus and Speaking for Illinois 4-H Training. “Thanks to 4-H, I was able to uncover my true leadership potential. This organization has always been the place where I can improve myself as a leader and learn more about who I am as an individual.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Krish plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Engineering and use the skills he gains to help solve societal issues like climate change.

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DELANEY NATION

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Shelby | Silver Spurs 4-H Club, Shelby County 4-H Federation Delaney has made a difference in her community through a Food Advocacy Grant that helped purchase supplies for 70 youth in her community and she also has worked on nine food mobiles. In her unit, she also served on the Officer Training Committee, and planned many craft and community service projects and serving as a Cloverbud judge. “4-H means I can put my hands to larger service to help with community service projects.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Delaney plans to attend Lake Land College and earn an Associate’s degree in Business Management and then continue to a four-year university for a Business degree.

State Award: Healthy Living & Nutrition Emerald Project Learning Experience Award McLean | Stylistics, McLean County Shooting Sports, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Federation Reagan has participated in both state and national 4-H experiences such as the Healthy Living Summit, National 4-H Conference, Your Thoughts Matter, Culture, Cuisine & Conversation, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, National Day of Service, and Legislative Connection. Reagan is also very active in the fair, serving as one of the co-superintendents, and coordinating fair events and club workshops. “4-H is simply a way of life for me.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Reagan is currently a sophomore at Heartland Community College after which she will transfer to a four-year university and earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

AMANDA NIEMANN

JALYNN PHILLIPS

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Montgomery | Montgomery County Clovers 4-H, Montgomery County YLT, Unit 18 YLT Amanda enjoys teaching others through project talks and public speaking contests. She has served as an officer and on three committees in her 4-H club, helping with community service projects for foster children and seniors as well as 4-H food packaging. She has used her creative skills in designing her county’s showbook and as a member of the 4-H Story Project. “4-H is a community of people and opportunities like no other. Through 4-H, I have learned valuable life skills and built a foundation for my future.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Amanda plans to attend college.

Diamond Project Learning Experience Award White | 76 Clovers, White County Federation, Clube solo Fertil Jalynn serves as treasurer of her club and is a member of the Window Display Committee. She is active in both her unit, state, and international levels, both participating in and leading workshops. Jalynn truly enjoys community service and participates in service activities both through 4-H and through her church. “4-H gives me an opportunity to learn new things and challenges me to be a better person.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jalynn plans to attend college to become a marine biologist.

LYDIA OKER

MADDIE PORTER

State Award: Civic Engagement & Global Living Emerald Leadership Experience Award Kendall | Millbrook Mighty Ones 4-H Club, Kendall County Teen Federation, Livestock Ambassador Team, Legislative Connection, Speaking for Illinois 4-H As a Teen Federation Member, Lydia has developed curriculum for county workshops and gotten involved in helping and teaching younger kids about projects. On the Livestock Ambassador Team, Lydia helps to put on weekend conferences and provide hands-on activities about livestock. In addition to 4-H, she is involved in Interact Club, Lifesavers Club, Student Ambassador, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy, S.A.L.T., American Legion, VFW, and Meals on Wheels. “4-H is a place to learn and grow as well as share the knowledge you have gained over the years with the younger members. It means setting a good example and fully involving yourself within the program.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lydia is currently a freshman at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is double majoring in Ag Business and Political Science.

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REAGAN PARKS

Diamond Project Learning Experience Award Grundy | Saratoga Ag, Federation, Teen Teachers Maddie served as secretary in her 4-H Federation and is part of the Camp Advisor Council for youth camp. She has assisted in many community service projects such as making masks for essential workers and helping elderly neighbors. She has also participated in many teen teaching sessions centered on helping others learn outdoor skills such as shelter building and compass reading. “4-H is about making new friends and growing together and becoming a leader while developing lifelong skills.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Maddie plans to attend college.


COLE RAPPE

State Award: Personal Growth Macon | Blue Mound Green Machines Cole has maintained an officer position for the majority of his club years and completed a project for the 4-H show each year. He has also participated in various club-led activities that have expanded his community knowledge. “4-H to me is an organization that gives our youth necessary career readiness skills. 4-H is where I first learned to speak publicly, run a formal business meeting, and participate in an interview. I will carry these skills with me throughout all of my future endeavors.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Cole plans to attend Illinois State University with a major in Agronomy Management to continue his career in the agriculture industry.

CONNOR RAY

Emerald Leadership Experience Award McHenry | 4-H Eagles, 4-H Ambassadors Connor attended the 2020 4-H Leadership Training and has used his skills to teach president role at his county officer training, teach goal-setting at his Ambassador Club, and teach Cloverbuds during a Cloverbud Experience Teaching Event. He has also served in many volunteer roles including Toys for Tots, snow shoveling, and helping at an animal rescue center. “4-H is a great way to showcase yourself and your hobbies and skills to the world”. EDUCATION & CAREER: Connor plans to become a high school agriculture teacher.

MARCUS RAY

Emerald Leadership Experience Award McHenry | 4-H Eagles, 4-H Ambassadors Marcus has gained knowledge of his community and created a project based around the inner workings and functions of his village and its history. He also taught Cloverbuds during camp and has volunteered with snow shoveling and at an animal rescue center. “4-H is how I connect with my community and improve myself and others with volunteering. It’s how I meet people who have similar interests as me and where I can learn leadership skills to aid me in other organizations I participate in.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Marcus plans to work on the railroad or become a volunteer at the Illinois Railway Museum.

DHRUV REBBA

State Award: STEM & Robotics McLean | Metal Cow Robotics, Teen Teachers, Hunger Ambassadors, Federation, Mission Command Team Dhruv founded a non-profit called Universal Help that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people around the world in innovative ways such as donating and digitizing textbooks to schools in rural India, starting a COVID-19 isolation center in India, starting a recycling project and mall revitalization program in Bloomington, and natural disaster relief in West Bengal. Dhruv serves as the vice-president of the 4-H MetalCow Robotics Team, a leader in the 4-H Mission Command Team, and as an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station mentor. “Through 4-H I have been able to learn a profusion of skills that have enabled me to pursue my interests.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Dhruv plans to pursue a degree in computer science.

EMILY REPPY

State Award: Food Systems Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Kendall | Seward Kids and Critters 4-H Club, Kendall County 4-H Federation, DKK Science Ambassador Through her role as a Teen Teacher in her county’s Federation and Science Ambassador programs, Emily has helped to plan and lead workshops and other events in her community. She also led her club in donating food to her local food pantry and restocking community blessing boxes in response to the pandemic. “For me, 4-H is an opportunity for personal development. It has given me the opportunity to learn and teach others through leadership and service.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Emily is currently attending Joliet Junior College to earn an Associate of Arts and an AAS in Digital Media Production with plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn her Bachelor’s degree.

SYDNEY REPPY

State Award: Civic Engagement & Global Living Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Kendall | Seward Kids & Critters 4-H Club, Kendall County Federation, Unit 5 Science Ambassadors Sydney serves as a Teen Teacher in her county’s Federation and Science Ambassador programs, which has given her teaching and learning opportunities in her community as well as experience planning county service projects and learning events such as a charity Walk-athon and officer training. “4-H is a way to get involved with your community. I’ve gained many life skills through the service and learning opportunities that 4-H has provided.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Sydney is currently attending Joliet Junior College to earn her Associate of Arts before transferring to a university to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in English. She plans on becoming an English teacher.

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CAITLYN RICHARDS

Sustaining the Future Award Hamilton | Pioneer Country Kids 4-H Club Treasurer, Hamilton County 4-H Federation Vice President, Teen Teachers, Speaking for Illinois 4-H Caitlyn has attended Illini Summer Academies, Legislative Connection, and Discover Chicago through 4-H. She has also participated in the National Day of Service, created her own Denim Drive, and helped with many other 4-H events. “4-H to me is friendship, giving love to others, and just helping the world as a whole.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Caitlyn plans on going to college to become a teacher.

SARAH ROSSI

Diamond Leadership Experience Award Grundy | Homes Cool Kids, Teen Teachers, Federation Sarah enjoys encouraging others to take an interest in nature through her role as a Teen Teacher in unit workshops like Nature Photography, Worm Decomposing, and Outdoor Hiking. She enjoys Floriculture and Wildlife projects and participating in service projects through her club. “4-H helps me explore my interests and expand my knowledge about subjects I am passionate about.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Sarah plans to pursue a biology-related career.

CARLSON ROZANAS

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Boone | The Wranglers, Boone County 4-H Federation, Teen Teachers, Shooting Sports. Carlson has participated in over 100 community service projects, attended 20 leadership trainings, taught 8 weeks of Teen Teacher Cooking Camps, and served as a delegate in this year’s National 4-H Congress. A Grand Champion in this year’s photography category at State Fair, he has also produced two 4-H filmmaking projects, and attended the 4-H National Film Fest. Over the past two years, Carlson has organized a community wide service project that has collected over 2,200 pounds of plastic for recycling into plastic benches. “4-H has inspired me to be the person I am today. Throughout the years it has taught me how to be a leader in my community, 4-H clubs, and county programs. As a result, I have become a more confident public speaker, have learned responsibility, problem solving, and how to work as a team.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Carlson plans to become a construction electrician while continuing to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and traveling to help with disaster relief efforts.

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WILLARD ROZANAS

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Boone | The Wranglers, Boone County 4-H Federation, Teen Teachers, Shooting Sports Willard was a final Grand Champion in this year’s National 4-H Epic Story competition and he has completed over 30 projects in the Visual Arts category. He has also participated in State Public Speaking, Hippology, and attended several leadership trainings at the county, unit, and state level in addition to serving on several club and Federation committees and as a Teen Teacher. “4-H is a place that has taught me the value of community service, the importance of speaking skills for everyday life, and has provided leadership opportunities to enable me to be a better person in my club, community, country, and world.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Willard plans to go to college to earn a degree in advanced physics with additional study in advanced chemistry, engineering, biology, archeology, aeronautics, biochemistry, and math.

CAMPBELL RUSSO

State Award: Personal Growth Winnebago | Midway Marvels 4-H Club After attending 4-H Camp as a kid, Campbell decided to become a camp counselor. In that role he has learned leadership skills and how to inspire young kids to attend camp. A Junior Leadership Conference and Illini Summer Academies attendee, Campbell now serves as 4-H club president and enjoys inspiring young children from a leadership role. “4-H has helped me develop social skills that I use outside of 4-H.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Campbell hopes to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Finance before going on to work towards his MBA. He would like to be a marketing manager for a start-up.

EMMA SALVERSON

State Award: Healthy Living & Nutrition Peoria | Elmwood All-Stars Emma has participated in several 4-H camps and club activities that have allowed her to meet new people and learn new things. She has done multiple projects through 4-H with a focus on food and nutrition such as cake decorating, cooking, gardening, and candymaking. “4-H is a community for me to discover new hobbies and passions and pursue them.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Emma is currently studying to get her BA in Baking and Pastry and Food Business Management at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.


JACQUELINE SCHERTZ

State Award: Animal Science Woodford | Eastside Producers 4-H Club, Woodford County Federation, Livingston/ McLean/Woodford County Extension Council Jacqueline has completed a variety of projects through 4-H, ranging from health to entomology, with her favorites including cooking, floriculture, floral arranging, and public speaking. She has shown six different species of animals in 4-H, specializing in cattle. She explores her specialty by spending time researching different diseases, breeds, and animal practices. “4-H has taught me humility. I learned to be able to take criticism, learn from it, and make changes as needed.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jacqueline plans to attend the University of Illinois to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education. She wants to teach at a high school as an agriculture instructor as well as help run her family grain operation.

SKYE SCHUMAKER

State Award: Leadership McLean | 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team, Illinois 4-H State Livestock Judging Team Skye says that leadership is in her blood and that 4-H has helped her become a strong leader who cares about other 4-H youth’s success. As a member of the Livestock Ambassador Team, she has enjoyed her role in educating, planning, and presenting during multiple livestock conferences. Skye says it takes the seven C’s to lead: coaching, character, communication, commitment, contagious energy, caring, consistency, and of course 4-H! “4-H has meant leadership!” EDUCATION & CAREER: Skye plans to attend Lake Land College before transferring to another college to work toward degrees in Ag Business, Entrepreneurship, and Political Science. She will then attend law school at the University of Wyoming or Oklahoma State university.

HUNTER SHIKE

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Champaign | Sadorus 4-H All Stars, Champaign County Livestock Judging Team Hunter’s role on the Livestock Judging Team and in showing pigs and goats has taken him all across multiple states where he has been able to grow his knowledge and experience base. He also serves as the tech chair for his 4-H club, helped plan the 4-H Swine Clinic, and had the opportunity to teach U of I leadership about goats. Hunter also has participated in Junior Leadership Conference, and parliamentary procedure training, and is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team. “4-H means opportunity - the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience, leadership, and friendships that will help me in life.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Hunter hopes to get a degree in animal sciences or a related field so that he can have a career in animal nutrition.

OLIVIA SHIKE

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Champaign | Sadorus 4-H All Stars, Champaign County Livestock Judging Team, Federation, Teen Teachers, Youth Advisory Committee Olivia is passionate about the swine industry: organizing community participation in a Give a Ham food drive, participating in the 4-H Swine Clinic, showing pigs and horses, serving on the county livestock judging team, and promoting 4-H and her swine project on a national Instagram feature. Olivia also serves in her club as secretary, participated in parliamentary procedure training, teen teachers meeting, and she served as a voting member on the Champaign Youth Advisory Committee. “I have learned what hard work, dedication, determination, and perseverance can produce after showing livestock for over 10 years. Not to mention the lifelong friends, mentors, and network I have been able to create through my many years of 4-H so far.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Olivia hopes to go to a junior college in Illinois to judge livestock before moving on to a senior college and possibly serve on a youth swine show board.

RESMIRANDA SMALL

Emerald Community Service Experience Award Shelby | Silver Spurs, Shelby Shooters, Shelby Scrapamaniacs Resmiranda dedicated her talents to helping create and donate a Quilt of Valor to a local veteran. She has also made thank you cards for veterans on honor flights and created cards and donations for veterans around important holidays. In addition, Resmiranda organized a food collection that collected over 50 items to donate to those in need. “4-H is a fun place to learn about things with friends and make new friends who like the same stuff I like. The best part is since everyone is learning, no one worries about mistakes, they just help you do better. Everyone helps everyone and that makes the world a better place.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Resmiranda hopes to become a librarian.

AUDRA SPIELMAN

State Award: Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Will | 4-H Warriors Audra has a passion for the topic of natural resources, fueled by nature hikes and outdoor events and activities through her 4-H group. In order to explore her project, Audra did a lot of research on her topic and spoke with many people who were knowledgeable about it to complete her project work. “To me, 4-H means leadership and teamwork, learning new things, and helping kids and teens find a love for all of that while still having fun.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Audra plans to start her college education at Joliet Junior College and then transfer to either North Central College or the University of Illinois to pursue an education in the field of occupational therapy. She would like to work with children in either a hospital or early intervention setting.

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KOHEN STOLTE

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Montgomery | Starr Shooters 4-H Club, Illinois Food Advocacy Team, Montgomery County Youth Leadership Team Kohen has held the office of vice president for the Starr Shooters 4-H club and is a member of the Illinois 4-H Food Advocacy Team, helping to bring awareness to food advocacy issues around the state and organizing a weekend backpack food program. Kohen also takes an active role in club communications, performing in radio advertisements and social media skits. “It’s a place for me to break down boundaries and get out of my comfort zone and interact with people I wouldn’t otherwise.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Kohen hopes to have a career as a storyboard writer for video games and other digital media.

JORDYN SWINFORD

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Pope | Pope County Clover Crew, Pope-Hardin Federation As a member of the Youth Leadership Team, Jordyn took part in many leadership activities including Junior Leadership Conference. In addition, Jordyn served as president of her local Federation, planning workshops, activities, and community service projects. Her favorite service project was working in their community garden because she was able to work with friends and donate the product to local food pantries. “Because of 4-H I have gained leadership skills, am comfortable public speaking, and made many close friendships.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Jordyn is currently attending Western Kentucky Community and Technical College in the Radiography Program. Afterward, she plans to apply for the Sonography Program and work at a hospital close to her home.

ELIJAH TAYLOR

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Cosmic Coders SPIN Club, Champaign County eSports Club Elijah participated in the First Lego League competition with his SPIN club. In addition to coding the team robot, the group had to interview local park districts to investigate playground usage and develop ideas to encourage increased adult park activity. He has also participated in a number of service projects such as litter pick up, making cards for nursing home residents, food repacks, and placing flags on veterans’ graves. “4-H means the opportunity to learn more about areas of interest, such as Robotics and eSports. I am also challenged to try new projects and help my club when I serve in a leadership role.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Elijah loves to build and create with Legos and plans to continue exploring robotics, computers, and gaming.

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JULIA TAYLOR

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Champaign | Champaign Shamrocks Julia’s passion for art led her to teach fellow club members various art techniques, learning about art around the world through online 4-H classes, and trying new art techniques. She brought her clay piece to the State Fair this year. Julia helped serve her community through food repacks, helping to sort donated items, and placing flags on veterans’ graves. “4-H gives me the opportunity to learn about projects that are interesting. I enjoy the meetings where I get to play games, see my friends, and give a talk or demonstration. Showing my projects at the fair is fun!” EDUCATION & CAREER: Julia loves to bake and dabble in the art realm.

NOELLE TAYLOR

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Champaign | Champaign Shamrocks, Teen Teachers Using the skills she gained at Teen Teacher training, Junior Leadership Conference, parliamentary procedure, and meetings training, Noelle has participated in Teen Teacher activities and has served as president of her club in addition to participating in many different community service projects. She represented her county at the state fair with her Passport to the World Israel poster. “Even though I’m an introvert, 4-H has given me the opportunity to lead others and be an example for the youth in my community.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Noelle plans to attend college, but does not yet have any specific career plans.

REBEKAH TAYLOR

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Champaign | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Teen Teachers Rebekah led her club through the 4-H STEM Challenge: Mars Base Camp. She trained as a Teen Teacher and led activities not only for her club, but for other clubs in the county. She led activities at summer day camps to teach campers activities through Teen Teachers and she attended Junior Leadership Conference and Speaking for Illinois 4-H. Rebekah took part in several service projects: sewing quilt blocks, making cards for nursing home residents, litter pickup, and food repacks. “4-H means an opportunity to expand my skills as a leader. I have been given the chance to plan and carry out workshops and events.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Rebekah enjoys STEM-related activities and theater arts.


NICOLE VANDEWALKER

State Award: Creative Performing Arts & Communication McHenry | Cougars, Federation, Ambassadors Nicole has learned many skills through projects like health and cooking and has gone to State Fair twice with her photography project, placing second in addition to receiving other merits and blue ribbons. She helps other 4-H members with their projects and volunteers in her community. “4-H is where I learned many valuable skills that will help me not only now but also in the future.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Nicole plans to attend college to earn a degree in the arts, majoring in either fine art or TV and film. She hopes to have a job in a creative field like photography or TV and film.

MICHELLE WANG

State Award: Leadership Jackson | Jackson County Computing Club, Murphysboro Archery Club, Illinois YLT, 4-H in Space Mission Command Team Michelle is an active member of the Youth Leadership Team, helping to plan statewide events. She was awarded a grant to purchase 10 mini drones which she has used to lead a local 4-H drone club and a workshop at Junior Leadership Conference. She also led a 5-county virtual STEM club with 33 members. Michelle enjoys archery and placed third in last year’s state shoot. “4-H is a fun place to explore and grow new interests in the company of many awesome people. 4-H also taught me leadership skills and the importance of service.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Michelle hopes to attend college to study Engineering.

BETH WARDEN

Retiring Illinois Youth Leadership Team Cass | River Valley 4-H, Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Cass County Federation During her 11 years as a 4-H member, Beth was on the State 4-H Youth leadership Team from 2017 to 2021, serving as the chair in 2021. She was also a Teen Teacher, Speaking for Illinois 4-H member, and leader in her local and county 4-H organizations. In addition to her memberships, Beth attended National 4-H Congress as a recipient of the State 4-H Award in Leadership and was a National 4-H Conference Delegate. “To me, 4-H is a community of leaders and learners who constantly support and challenge each other.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Beth will graduate this spring with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education with a Spanish minor. She plans to pursue a career teaching mathematics.

MOLLY WARNER

Youth Education in Agriculture Committee Knox | Williamsfield Town & Country 4-H, Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Knox County Federation Molly’s favorite projects in 4-H included Consumer Education, Leadership and Scrapbooking. She developed her leadership skills being president of the Knox County Federation and as a member of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team. As a YEA Committee member she enjoys working with the Illinois Farm Bureau and its family of companies to improve FFA and 4-H events throughout Illinois. “4-H is the youth organization where I can be myself and help lead members throughout Illinois. It is a place to serve others, develop relationships and find your passion.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Molly will be attending Iowa Wesleyan University to study Agribusiness. She will be playing volleyball and track.

PETER WIDINSKI

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Will | Willing Wilton Workers 4-H Peter has led workshops to teach others how to use SCRATCH coding and he went to State Fair this year with his SCRATCH coding project. He also enjoys entomology, geology, and service learning and has completed many service projects with his club such as police appreciation bags, food donations, Wreaths Across America, and sending cards to local veterans’ homes. “4-H means meeting new friends and helping others. I enjoy teaching people new project skills through workshops and completing community service projects with my 4-H club.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Peter hopes to have a career as an engineer.

SHILOH WILLIS

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Hamilton | Funny Farmers President, Federation Treasurer, Teen Teachers Shiloh has trained as a Teen Teacher and has volunteered her time to help her community with several service projects. In the past year, she has participated in cake decorating, heritage, photography, small engines, and cooking in addition to raising chickens and goats. “4-H means opportunities to explore, unlimited things to learn, and most of all a chance to have fun while doing both.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Shiloh plans to attend high school next year, after which she will go to college to pursue a career in oncology.

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AVA WINTERNHEIMER

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award Hamilton | Barb Wire Gang President, Hamilton County Federation, Hamilton County Teen Teacher Ava is a Teen Teacher and participates in workshops to help strengthen her project areas. She has presented on photography and horticulture at her local county fair. “4-H means family to me. Without 4-H and the people who have influenced me while being in it I would not be the person who I am today.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Ava plans to attend John A Logan to obtain her Criminal Justice Degree before going on to earn a Bachelor’s degree followed by Law School.

LUKE WOLFF

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Macoupin | Bunker Hill Livewires 4-H Club, Federation, Unit 18 YLT, Macoupin County Hunger Ambassadors, Teen Teachers, Speaking for Illinois 4-H, Macoupin County 4-H Committee Luke has demonstrated his leadership skills by helping his community to fight hunger, organizing a Hunger Ambassador Team in his county. He is a Junior Leader and 4-H Buddy in his club and has taught parliamentary procedure sessions, participated in committee service activities, helped at the county fair, shown livestock projects, attended Junior Livestock Conference, and participated in workshops to develop his leadership skills. “4-H means having new opportunities to learn skills that I will be able to use the rest of my life. It is also about having fun and making memories.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Luke plans to attend college to become an electrical engineer.

LAUREN WOLTER

State Award: Animal Science Clinton | Aviston 4-H Aces, Clinton County 4-H Federation, Livestock Ambassador Team, Illinois State 4-H Skillathon Team Lauren competed at the National 4-H Skillathon where she learned livestock management, marketing, nutrition, handling, and evaluation. She has learned about embryology on her own farm and competed with her show heifers at a national level. She serves on the Illinois Junior Angus Association and Illinois Junior Beef Association Board of Directors, helping to plan events and make decisions for juniors in the cattle industry. “4-H allowed me to explore new things and gain knowledge about any field under the sun. It allowed me to have leadership experience at a young age and learn responsibility and accountability.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lauren plans to double major in Agriculture Communications and either Marketing, Animal Science, Graphic Design, or Journalism at a four-year university. She would like to pursue a career in agriculture communications.

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LANCE WOOLAM

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Adams | Central Adams Firecrackers 4-H Club, Adams County 4-H Federation, Adams County STEM SPIN Club Lance was awarded a Food Advocacy Grant to develop a program for children in need of nutritional support at a local food pantry. He is an active advocate for Scott’s Law at the community and state level by giving and publishing speeches that are made available to state and national organizations. Lance also enjoys exhibiting projects in the areas of Electricity, Small Engines, Natural REsources, and Public Speaking. “4-H is an opportunity for young people of all backgrounds to learn about themselves and to grow as individuals, in skills gained in project areas, and overall in leadership. 4-H gives you the opportunity to see that you can make a difference.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Lance hopes to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Engineering.

JOHANNA ZIEREN

Emerald Project Learning Experience Award White | Enfield Blue Ribbon Club, White County 4-H Federation, White County 4-H Dog Obedience SPIN Club Johanna has completed 18 projects over the past year, ranging from Floriculture to Vet Science to Careers to Visual Arts. She is the office reporter for her club and treasurer for her Federation and also shows rabbits and participates in dog obedience and shows. She has attended multiple project workshops over the last year. “4-H provides me with an opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics from agriculture to art and animals to entrepreneurship.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Johanna hopes to have a career related to the care of animals, search and rescue teams, or criminal law.

CALEB ZWILLING

Emerald Leadership Experience Award Champaign | Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher, Teen Teachers, 4-H Youth Advisory Committee Caleb has held the office of secretary for his club and served on two committees. He attended the Junior Leadership Conference and was part of the Youth Advisory Committee which helped plan the Achievement Celebration. Caleb also helped serve his community by building picnic tables, sewing blankets, and donating candy to troops overseas. “4-H is a place where I can learn to be a better leader, better my community, and serve my community in a way that will help it grow.” EDUCATION & CAREER: Caleb plans to graduate high school and attend a four-year college.


DYLAN DYLAN ZWILLING ZWILLING

State State Award: Award: Leadership Leadership Emerald Emerald Leadership Leadership Experience Experience Award Award Champaign Champaign || Fantastic Fantastic 4-Hers 4-Hers of of Fisher, Fisher, Illini Illini Summer Summer Academies Academies Production Production Team, Team, Teen Teen Teachers, Teachers, Youth Youth Advisory Advisory Team Team Dylan has served Dylan has served as as president president of of his his local local 4-H 4-H club. club. Through Through this this role role he he was was able able to to lead lead meetings meetings and and get get to to know know the the members members of of his his club. In addition he served as the chair of club. In addition he served as the chair of the the program program committee, committee, planning planning speakers speakers and and programs programs for for the the club. club. To To serve serve his his community, community, Dylan Dylan organized organized aa snack snack drive drive for for local local road road crews crews and in downtown downtown flower flower boxes. boxes. and planted planted flowers flowers in “To me 4-H means dedication, passion, and “To me 4-H means dedication, passion, and leadership.” leadership.” EDUCATION EDUCATION & & CAREER: CAREER: Dylan Dylan plans plans to to attend attend Parkland Parkland College College and and then then transfer transfer to to the the University University of of Illinois Illinois where where he he will will major major in in either Agricultural Mechanics or Crop Sciences. He hopes to either Agricultural Mechanics or Crop Sciences. He hopes to work work as as aa mechanic and help on his family farm. mechanic and help on his family farm.

VICTORIA VICTORIA ZWILLING ZWILLING

State State Award: Award: Healthy Healthy Living Living & & Nutrition Nutrition Richland | Country Clovers, Illinois Richland | Country Clovers, Illinois 4-H 4-H Healthy Healthy Living Living Ambassadors Ambassadors As As vice vice president president of of her her local local 4-H 4-H club, club, Victoria Victoria helped to organize many club activities helped to organize many club activities including including food food drives drives and and an an Adopt-AAdopt-AFamily Family service service project. project. She She participated participated in in the the National National 4-H 4-H Healthy Healthy Living Living Summit Summit and and is is part part of of the the Illinois Illinois 4-H 4-H Healthy Healthy Living Living Ambassadors Team. She created Ambassadors Team. She created and and presented programs to promote presented programs to promote living tochildren. elementary and healthy living to elementary and healthy middle school middle school children. “4-H is a community that works together to help each individual cultivate “4-H a community that workstheir together to help and eachprepare individual their is interests in order to serve community for cultivate their their interests in order to serve their community and prepare for their career. It inspires kids to use their talents to serve others.” career. It inspires kids to use their talents to serve others.” Environmental EDUCATION & CAREER: Victoria is interested in studying EDUCATION & CAREER: Victoria is interested in studying Environmental Science and Ecology. Science and Ecology.

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AWARD HONOREES

These young adults were selected from applications submitted in Fall 2021 for activities during the 2020-2021 4-H year.

ILLINOIS 4-H STATE AWARD

Recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship. This award is given in the following nine areas. ANIMAL SCIENCES This award recognizes youth who have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery in their animal science project. Sponsors: Tim & Belinda Carey, George Obernagel, Keith & Lissa Parr, and Mark & Lee Ann Gossett. Justin Irwin, Boone County Lauren Wolter, Clinton County Anna Curley, McDonough County Emma Coursey, Warren County Jacqueline Schertz, Woodford County CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND GLOBAL LIVING

This award recognizes youth that have focused on 4-H work in service to/for others. Sponsors: Ron & Melanie Warfield and Nannette Armstrong Lydia Oker, Kendall County Sydney Reppy, Kendall County Anthony Joiner, Macoupin County Carina Engst, McLean County J Alden Knodle, Montgomery County CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

This award recognizes youth that have focused their 4-H work in the arts and art of communicating with others. Sponsors: Dee Murray, Kevin & Janette Rhoades, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation Legacy of Leadership Endowment. Elena Hevrdejs, Lake County Austin McNamara, McHenry County Nicole VandeWalker, McHenry County Clare Montavon, Ogle County Jorgi Dupureur, Tazewell County FOOD SYSTEMS

This award recognizes youth who have focused on food production, processing, distribution and access. Sponsors: Bernie & Susan Heisner, Donna Mueller, Evelyn Brandt Thomas, Dr. Larry Hageman, and Ray & Patricia Brownfield. Sophia Holmes, Cook County Jenna Haas, Jo Daviess County Emily Reppy, Kendall County Lexandra Cobin, Perry County Callysta Borders, Union County

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HEALTHY LIVING AND NUTRITION This award recognizes youth who have focused on making healthy decisions and lead healthy lifestyles. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Donna Mueller, Kevin & Janette Rhoades, and Dr. Janice Seitz. Libby Larkin, Livingston County Braylee Gilmore, Macoupin County Reagan Parks, McLean County Emma Salverson, Peoria County Victoria Zwilling, Richland County LEADERSHIP This award recognizes youth that have focused on the development of leadership skills, including offices held, committees served on, programs lead, and public presentations given on behalf of 4-H. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Donna Mueller, Dr. Janice Seitz, and Chicago Farmers. Dylan Zwilling, Champaign County Justin Gergen, DuPage County Michelle Wang, Jackson County Katelyn Engel, Knox County Skye Schumaker, McLean County NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE This award recognizes youth who have focused on environmental stewardship. Sponsors: Brian & Kristin Deverman, Sharon & Art Tenhouse, Mark & Mary Kaufman, Walter Lynn, Colleen Callahan-Burns. Kierstan Lampe, Clinton County Audra Spielman, Grundy County Matias Habib, Kendall County Elaan Bader, Montgomery County Lillian Frazee, Sangamon County PERSONAL GROWTH This award recognizes youth that have focused on personal growth through participating in the 4-H program. Sponsors: Patricia Clickener, Dave & Lisa McMurtry, Barbara & George Clark, and Dr. Janice Seitz. Hannah Johnson, Fulton County Elizabeth Melton, Kane County Klarissa Helton, Logan County Cole Rappe, Macon County Campbell Russo, Winnebago County STEM AND ROBOTICS This award recognizes youth who have focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Sponsors: Lisa Woessner Memorial 4-H Science Endowment, Sharon & Art Tenhouse, Dee Murray, and Landon Frye. Nathan Fernando Munoz-Lo, Cook County Lauren Luker, Edwards County Zoe Ault, Kankakee County Dhruv Rebba, McLean County Lauren Haas, Tazewell County


ILLINOIS 4-H SUSTAINING THE FUTURE AWARD

Sarah Darnell, Hamilton County Braylee Gilmore, Macoupin County Matias Habib, Kendall County Ashleigh Janssen, Tazewell County Halie Kohl, Kankakee County Paige Lemenager, McLean County Caitlyn Richards, Hamilton County

4-H EXPERIENCE AWARD DIAMOND LEVEL Leadership Sarah Rossi, Grundy County Abigail Munar, Kendall County Darcy Cummings, Macoupin County Jillian Jones, Pope County Project Learning Madison Porter, Grundy County Jalynn Phillips, White County

EMERALD LEVEL Leadership Lance Woolam, Adams County Willard Rozanas, Boone County Caleb Zwilling, Champaign County Dylan Zwilling, Champaign County Hunter Shike, Champaign County Noelle Taylor, Champaign County Rebekah Taylor, Champaign County Olivia Shike, Champaign County Sophia Holmes, Cook County Krish Nangia, DuPage County Lydia Oker, Kendall County Julian Heidrich, Kendall County Sofie Heidrich, Kendall County Libby Larkin, Livingston County Caroline Ahrends, Logan County Morgan Crouch, Macon County Anthony Joiner, Macoupin County Braylee Gilmore, Macoupin County Luke Wolff, Macoupin County Saralynn Joiner, Macoupin County Trace Cummings, Macoupin County Wyld Gilmore, Macoupin County Connor Ray, McHenry County Marcus Ray, McHenry County Erin Kistner, Montgomery County Kohen Stolte, Montgomery County Jordyn Swinford, Pope County Rachel Lands, Saline County Trystan Borders, Union County Quinn James, Whiteside County

Project Learning Carlson Rozanas, Boone County Elijah Taylor, Champaign County Julia Taylor, Champaign County Lydia Heren, Champaign County Alex Barnard, Champaign County Benjamin Diaz, Champaign County Jenna Clemmons, Champaign County Palin Goebel, Grundy County Ava Winternheimer, Hamilton County Courtney Lynn, Hamilton County Emilee Cox, Hamilton County Sarah Darnell, Hamilton County Shiloh Willis, Hamilton County Emily Reppy, Kendall County Sydney Reppy, Kendall County Christopher Corrigan, Livingston County Taylor Crouch, Macon County Katelyn Barber, Macoupin County Makenna Harding, Macoupin County Payton Harding, Macoupin County Braden May, Massac County Anna Curley, McDonough County Carina Engst, McLean County Reagan Parks, McLean County Elaan Bader, Montgomery County Emma Hughes, Montgomery County Nathan Brown, Montgomery County Amanda Niemann, Montgomery County Katelyn Marley, Montgomery County Lauren Carlson, Ogle County Remington Curry, Pope-Hardin County Abagayle Britton, Pulaski County Kevin Britton, Pulaski County Bailey Callahan, Rock Island County Nicholas Gorbach, Rock Island Delaney Nation, Shelby County Callysta Borders, Union County Naomi Dolan, Vermilion County Grace McCarty, White County Johanna Zieren, White County Katelyn Allen, White County Peter Widinski, Will County Avery Edler, Will County Vanessa Edler, Will County Annsley Healy, White County Community Service Resmiranda Small, Shelby County Deb Stocker Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team Scholarship Megan Eppel, Lake County

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