2016 4-H Mark of Excellence winners announced

Members share their thoughts on 4-H through Mark of Excellence essays.

Counties across Michigan had the opportunity to collect essays from 4-H youth ages 11 and 12, and select up to two essays from each county to be recognized as 4-H Mark of Excellence award winners. The essay theme for 2016 was “Because of 4-H, I can…” This year, we recognized youth from 19 counties. These winners received certificates and medals in July for their essays. These essays will be on display at the Kettunen Center and are also utilized by the Michigan 4-H Foundation and Michigan State University Extension. This essay contest is held annually and essays are submitted to local MSU Extension offices.

The 2016 Mark of Excellence winners are:

  • Berrien County: Gracie Bachman
  • Branch County: Kaitlyn Noble
  • Calhoun County: Jenevieve Adams and Amaracus Lawrence
  • Cass County: Layla True
  • Emmet County: Luke Kurburski
  • Genesee County: Maddison Campbell and Margaret Hartmann
  • Gladwin County: Zoe Jines and Khloe Thurlow
  • Gratiot County: Kiera Goward
  • Ingham County: Sophie Howse
  • Iosco County: Karlee Nelkie and Alyvia Smith
  • Kent County: Isis Lett
  • Lapeer County: Amber Tuttle
  • Livingston County: Hayley Williams and Baylee Cloudman
  • Menominee County: Emma Tebo
  • Midland County: Andrew Yeomans-Stephenson
  • Monroe County: Alexis Fischer and Elizabeth Vincent
  • Oakland County: James Dorzea
  • Sanilac County: Dana Gardner and Ava Pink
  • Shiawassee County: Zachary Pickler

These young people refer to their 4-H experiences as ones that have allowed them to make new friends, try new projects, explore new places and help their dreams come true. They credit 4-H with helping them increase their public speaking skills, confidence and time management skills. They talk with excitement about their club meetings, events, exhibits and community service projects.

These young members look forward to the future and are eager to see where 4-H will take them next; they know the best will only get better. 4-H is not just a program, but a way of life for many families. A tradition for some, a new adventure for others and the best kept secret that needs to be shared broadly with the youth in every community in our state. This summer, get inspired by the power of 4-H and discover how 4-H is growing true leaders across the state by talking to some local 4-H members when you visit local fairs and festivals in your community.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H Youth Development, contact your local MSU Extension office

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