Michigan 4-H helps youth prepare and pay for college
Through both precollege programs that prepare students for college success and an array of financial scholarships that make college more affordable, MSU Extension is helping youth to prepare and pay for college.
With a commitment to preparing Michigan’s children and youth for the future, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension places a heavy emphasis on postsecondary education. Through both precollege programs that prepare students for college success and an array of financial scholarships that make college more affordable, MSU Extension is helping youth to prepare and pay for college.
Through its flagship program Michigan 4-H, MSU Extension provides a number of precollege programs to Michigan youth ages 5 – 19. These include opportunities such as Michigan 4-H Exploration Days, 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp, 4-H Renewal Energy Camp, 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp, 4-H Youth Conservation Council and 4-H Capitol Experience. Through their participation in these activities, youth are encouraged to attend postsecondary education as they receive real-life college experiences and explore potential career choices.
To help with the postsecondary education costs, Michigan 4-H’ers who participate in those 4-H precollege programs and are in grades eight through 10 are eligible to compete for 64 MSU Precollege Program scholarships each year. Valued at $2,000, the scholarship is applied to the recipient’s first year as a degree-seeking student at MSU. In 2016, 73 percent of the precollege scholarship winners were attendees of Michigan 4-H events.
“We’re excited to see so many of our state’s 4-H youth earning a large portion of the precollege program scholarships,” said Jacob DeDecker, associate state 4-H leader. “It shows that these individuals are making plans to pursue postsecondary education after high school, which is great.”
Michigan 4-H’ers who attend MSU are also eligible to compete for the MSU 4-H Scholarship, which honors 4-H’ers for their outstanding high school academic performance and involvement in the 4-H program. This year, four 2016 graduating high school seniors were selected as the recipients of this scholarship, worth $2,500 each year for four consecutive years. Beneficiaries of the award must have been involved with 4-H at the county, regional, state, national or international level, and demonstrate outstanding achievements through 4-H, their academic classwork and their community involvement. This year’s recipients are:
- Henry Hautau, Calhoun County
- Sierra Jezuit, Ingham County
- Loren King, St. Joseph County
- Brady Littlefield, St. Joseph County
Beyond supporting their college education financially, the Michigan 4-H program also impacted the educational goals of these individuals. Graduating high school senior Henry Hautau explained that his decision to dual major in Biosystems Engineering and Animal Science before pursuing his ultimate goal of attending veterinary school was influenced by his 4-H career.
“My involvement in 4-H helped me to find my interest for veterinary science,” said Hautau. “While working on the family farm and during the 4-H Veterinary and Animal Science Camp, I saw many different agricultural careers, but I was constantly drawn to veterinary practice.”
Applications for current Michigan 4-H Youth Development scholarships are available online and due November 1, 2016. For more information about the Michigan 4-H program and its precollege opportunities, visit http://4h.msue.msu.edu.