2022 Michigan 4-H Mark of Excellence award winners announced
Mark of Excellence essays portray learning experiences of 4-H members.
Every year, counties across Michigan offer 4-H youth ages 11 and 12 the opportunity to participate in Michigan 4-H State Awards Program 4-H Mark of Excellence essay contest. As part of the contest, each county may select two essays to be recognized as winners.
The essay theme is “Because of 4-H, I can…” and the youth referred 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. Some credited 4-H with helping them increase their public speaking skills, confidence, and time management skills. Other 4-H’ers wrote 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,” said Jake DeDecker, Michigan State University Extension 4-H state leader. “The Mark of Excellence essay contest not only provides a space for youth to think critically about their experiences but also recognizes them for engaging in these learning opportunities.”
Overall, 15 4-H members from 11 counties were honored as 2022 Mark of Excellence county winners.
- Berrien County: Maizie Murphy and Gemma Richards
- Cass County: Connor Baker
- Gratiot County: Joshua Grigar
- Isabella County: Ben Kropf and Grace Russell
- Lenawee County: Eliana Pinson
- Midland County: Benny Scott
- Monroe County: Morgan Schmidt
- Muskegon County: Layla Behm
- Saginaw County: Samantha Hecht or Elliana Specht
- Van Buren County: Karleigh Stamp
- Washtenaw County: Amelia Long and Westin Rogers
Each recipient received a medal, and their winning essays were added to the Mark of Excellence history book at the Michigan 4-H Foundation and State 4-H Office at MSU Extension.