Skip to main content

4-H honors extraordinary volunteers

Hall of Fame, 2023 4-H Clover, Inductees

SPRINGFIELD, Ill — Illinois 4-H volunteers empower and prepare youth for success as the program relies on its more than 6,000 volunteers to fill key leadership and mentoring roles. Brad and Paula Zwilling in Champaign County, Angela Jones in Iroquois County, May Ellen McClure in Ford County, and Nicki Duffy in Vermilion County were honored by Illinois 4-H for their selfless dedication to the University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development program.

In 2023, 53 individuals were inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame. Illinois 4-H honors and celebrates extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Those inducted have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by county University of Illinois Extension staff. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion at the Illinois State Fair 4-H Alumni & Volunteer Celebration events. 


Paula and Brad Zwilling
Paula and Brad Zwilling, Champaign County 4-H Hall of Famers.
Champaign County

Brad and Paula Zwilling were inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for their 10 years of volunteering in Champaign County. After college, Brad and Paula returned to the Champaign area and set their roots in Fisher, IL. They assisted with the start-up of a local 4-H club, Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher, to bring 4-H back to their local community. Brad stated, “I volunteer with 4-H as I want to give back for all the help and guidance that was given to me during my youth.”

Mary Ellen McClure
May Ellen McClure, Ford County 4-H Hall of Famer
Ford County

Mary Ellen McClure was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for her 20-year volunteer career in Ford County. Mary Ellen served as a club leader in Ford County, where she made a positive impact on the local youth by providing guidance, support, and care. Her years of service and dedication have been greatly appreciated by the community. Mary Ellen stated, “I just loved helping the kids!" 

Angela Jones
Angela Jones, Iroquois County 4-H Hall of Famer
Iroquouis County

Angela Jones was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for her 29-year volunteer career in Iroquois County. Angela has been a committed volunteer in the 4-H community for many years. She has contributed in various roles, such as being a 4-H Foods judge, Foods Sale Superintendent, Goat Barn Superintendent, and a leader and assistant leader for the Donovan Ag 4-H club. Her hard work and positive attitude have greatly benefitted the 4-H youth of Iroquois County. Angela stated, “4-H was a huge part of my growing-up years.  I want to help young people now to be a part of something special.” 

Nicki Duffy
Nicki Duffy, Vermilion County 4-H Hall of Famer
Vermilion County

Nicki Duffy was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for her 17-year volunteer career in Vermilion County. Nikki is an exceptional 4-H volunteer with a long history with the program. As an 11-year 4-H member and a 6-year career as a club leader, she is deeply ingrained in the values and goals of 4-H. Currently serving as a club leader, livestock and general projects committee member, poultry superintendent, and a 4-H project judge. Nikki is known for her ability to connect with and support the kids in the program. Nikki stated, “I volunteer for 4-H because that's what it taught me to do. 4-H taught me to give back to my community and share my knowledge with others.” 

Volunteers the heart of 4-H


Illinois 4-H programs in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion County reach nearly 1300 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes. Volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles throughout the state. 

“Volunteers are the heart of the Illinois 4-H Youth Development program, embodying the spirit of dedicated service that nurtures the growth of our future leaders,” says Patricia McGlaughlin, University of Illinois Extension specialist. “Their unwavering commitment and selfless contributions empower our youth to learn, thrive, and make a positive impact on their communities. Volunteers help youth find their spark and help build our next generations.”

About Illinois 4-H


Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement and puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to make healthier choices, two times more likely to be civically active, and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.