Michigan Community Service Commission receives highest Michigan 4-H honor

The Michigan Community Service Commission was honored with the prestigious Michigan 4-H Citation Award at a ceremony on Sept. 30.

The Michigan Community Service Commission was honored with the prestigious Michigan 4-H Citation Award at a ceremony on Sept. 30. The commission was recognized during the Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration hosted by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Foundation in East Lansing. 

Two Michigan 4-H Citation Awards are given each year. They honor individuals and organizations whose multicounty, regional, state, or national contributions and support have significantly advanced the work of MSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development. The contributions of honorees have expanded the capacity of Michigan 4-H to affect the lives of Michigan young people in positive, significant and meaningful ways. This award, given since 1946, is the highest recognition bestowed by Michigan 4-H Youth Development and is presented with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation. 

Since its creation in 1991, the Michigan Community Service Commission has been using service as a strategy for addressing pressing issues and empowering volunteers to strengthen communities. Part of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the commission is the state’s lead agency on service and volunteerism. It uses four programs to achieve its mission: Michigan’s AmeriCorps, Mentor Michigan, Volunteer Michigan, and the Governor’s Service Awards. These programs enable the commission to share volunteer and service resources, create networks among organizations, provide grant funding to address challenges, increase capacity, and serve as a bridge between the public and nonprofit sectors. 

MSU Extension and the commission have developed a decades-long collaboration that has been particularly beneficial to 4-H Youth Development. Over the years, Michigan 4-H has received many MCSC grants that have increased capacity and delivered resources to support volunteer recruiting and development. The grants have included a Volunteer Michigan grant to support 4-H volunteer recruitment and three others to place AmeriCorps members in 4-H programs: 4-H Club Read, 4-H Mentoring, and 4-H STEAM Corps. Funding for a fourth AmeriCorps program, 4-H HealthCorps, is anticipated by the end of 2023. 

Thanks to these Michigan’s AmeriCorps initiatives, members have been placed in MSU Extension offices across the state, enabling Michigan 4-H to address key issues such as literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) skill development, and youth health. Michigan 4-H has also hosted AmeriCorps members through other MCSC-administered AmeriCorps programs, such as the Mentoring to Access Corps, and collaborated with the MCSC through the Mentor Michigan program. The commission often celebrates the service of Michigan 4-H youth and volunteers through the Governor’s Service Awards. 

This Citation Award celebrates the Michigan Community Service Commission’s commitment to improving Michigan communities and their faithful partnership with MSU Extension and its 4-H youth programs. The commission’s willingness to support Michigan 4-H service initiatives, to partner on 4-H volunteer recruiting efforts, to celebrate 4-H service, and more, have allowed Michigan 4-H to reach more Michigan young people. 

The Michigan 4-H Legacy Awards Celebration was hosted and emceed by MSU Extension Associate Director Matt Shane, a Kent County 4-H alumnus and 2014 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductee. Michael and Winifred Tate also received the Michigan 4-H Citation Award at the event. For more information on the Michigan 4-H Citation Award and awardees, visit https://mi4hfdtn.org/4-h-emerald-awards/michigan-4-h-citation-award/. 

The Michigan 4-H Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that supports Michigan 4-H Youth Development. For more information about the Michigan 4-H Foundation, visit www.mi4hfdtn.org. Michigan 4-H Youth Development is the youth-serving program of MSU Extension. Nearly 100,000 youth are involved in 4-H with the support of 9,000 adult volunteers. For more information about Michigan 4-H, visit www.4h.msue.msu.edu. 

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