Recognize 4-H youth through State Awards

Many youth like to get an award for completing something and kids love to feel special. Even at a young age, youth are very excited to receive an award or ribbon. Learn more about recognizing a young person through 4-H.

The Michigan 4-H Youth Program feels it is very important for 4-H youth to receive recognition for the hard work and accomplishments they have made through 4-H. To honor youth, Michigan 4-H has developed two programs: the Mark of Excellence and State Awards Program.

The Make of Excellence program provides an opportunity for youth, age 11 to 12 years-old,  to write a short essay about what they have learned in 4-H.  The theme of their essay is “Because of 4-H I can..." Essays are then chosen at the county level before being sent to the state level. Selected youth will be recognized and have their essay permanently displayed.  

The second program, the 4-H State Awards, is designed for youth 13 to 19 years-old. This program is broken up into two divisions: the Junior division for 13 to 15 year olds; and the Senior division for 16 to 19 year-olds. Both Junior and Senior division youth fill out an application that includes questions about their experiences and what life skills they might have gained through their 4-H career.  The Seniors compete in a professional interview with industry representatives, while Junior youth participate in an elite leadership program. Cash awards are given to the top winner in each category and all youth participate in a professional reception to receive recognition. 

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension feels that while youth are in 4-H, they are developing valuable life skills. This type of recognition will highlight those skills as well as help them to develop more. Making kids feel special also helps to build their self-esteem and  develop the confidence to tackle projects in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about the Michigan 4-H State Award Program and how to get involved with 4-H, visit the Michigan 4-H website.   You should also feel free to stop into your local MSU Extension Office to get more information.

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