2017 Michigan 4-H Mark of Excellence award winners announced

Youth refer to opportunities and experiences 4-H has allowed them to have in Mark of Excellence essays.

Every year, counties across Michigan offer 4-H youth ages 11 and 12 the opportunity to participate in Michigan 4-H State Awards’ 4-H Mark of Excellence essay contest. As part of the contest, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff members select up to two youth essays from each county to be recognized as award winners.

The essay theme for 2017 was “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,” Julie Chapin, director of MSU Extension’s children and youth programs, said. “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 experiences.”

Overall, 31 youth from 18 counties were honored as 2017 Mark of Excellence county winners.

  • Branch County: Kathleen Bailey and Jacob Reif

  • Cass County: Benjamin Shelby and Madison Weedon

  • Cheboygan County: Thomas Tafoya

  • Eaton County: Javelynne Bowels and Ryleigh Mauk

  • Ionia County: Cassidy Cashen and Peyton Hoppes

  • Kent County: Grace Richmond

  • Macomb County: Taylor Frazier and Teagan Lake

  • Marquette County: Halle Graves and Hayden Graves

  • Mason County: Ryann Rohrer

  • Menominee County: Malorie Baumler and Kara Solander

  • Monroe County: Griffin Linn and Jaren Schmidt

  • Oakland County: Samantha Conlon and Khamani Potts

  • Oceana County: Beckett Newell and Alexis Settler

  • Sanilac County: Emily Martinez and Riley Wallace

  • Shiawassee County: Emma Challender and Veronica Gross

  • St. Clair County: Gwyneth Glombowski and Douglas Modrich

  • Washtenaw County: Quinn Hilla

  • Wayne County: Carlene Armstrong

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. The essays are also on display at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H Youth Development, contact your local MSU Extension office or visit 4h.msue.msu.edu.

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