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4-H youth honored for leadership, career achievements

Clovers in a field.

Urbana, Ill. – 4-H youth across the state have been honored for their career achievements in the 4-H program.

The State 4-H Experience Award offers recognition for members who took part in activities and events in the categories of Participation, Community Service, Leadership, and Project Mastery. In order to qualify for the award, 4-H members must have expanded their 4-H experience beyond just the county level.

“The 4-H organization empowers youth to navigate and celebrate their passion and mastery in a variety of areas,” says Kevin Carey, University of Illinois Extension senior program lead and acting 4-H director. “These youth are modeling the way for the continued work 4-H brings to our communities across the state.”

Youth choose learning pathways and are encouraged to find 4-H experiences to explore at the county, state, and national levels.

“These youth being celebrated represent what 4-H does best, creating an opportunity for all, and advancing their skills and knowledge in so many different areas of our 4-H program,” says Carey. “We are thankful for their contributions at the community level and hope youth see the pathways towards succeeding locally, statewide, and nationally through the 4-H organization."

Diamond Level awards recognize youth who completed six or more experiences in one of the three dimensions, with at least four experiences beyond the county level.  The Diamond Level awards are sponsored by The Diamond Level awards are sponsored by Earl & Arlene Williams.

Diamond Level Award Winners in Leadership include Sarah Rossi from Grundy County, Olivia Truhlar from Grundy County, Simon Truhlar from Grundy County, Caiden Freeland from Jersey County, Morgan Crouch from Macon County, Allie Helling from Macoupin County, Jordan Heimann from Stephenson County, and Kim Adams from Union County.

Diamond Level Award Winners in Project Learning include Brooke Glander from Boone County, Briar Bishop from Clark County, Kari Wier from DuPage County, Isabella Gilbreth from Macoupin County, Emma Bowman from Massac County, Allison Perkins from McHenry County, and Nick Sloan from Williamson County.

The Emerald Level award recognizes youth who completed eight or more experiences in one of the three dimensions, with at least four of those experiences beyond the county level and at least two at the state, national, or international level. The Emerald awards are sponsored by Chris & Ellen Dahm and Pat Clickener. 

Emerald Level Award Winners in Leadership include Hayley Lair from Adams County, Lance Woolam from Adams County, Willard Rozanas from Boone County, Emma Pistorius from Christian County, Ben Wamsley from Christian County, Kaylee Daugherty from Clark County, Justin Gergen from DuPage County, Brayden Wilson from Jackson County, Asher Munar from Kendall County, Sofie Heidrich from Kendall County, Libby Larkin from Livingston County, Luke Wolff from Macoupin County, Saralynn Joiner from Macoupin County, Reese Heyen from Macoupin County, Elaan Bader from Montgomery County, Bailey Callahan from Rock Island County, Rachel Lands from Saline County, Resmiranda Small from Shelby County, Callysta Borders from Union County, Trystan Borders from Union County, Alex Paul from Wayne County, Katelyn Davis from White County, Alexandra Bruinius from Will County, and Bayla Crouch from Woodford County.

Emerald Level Award Winners in Project Learning include Paige Glander from Boone County, Jenna Clemmons from Champaign County, Caleb Zwilling from Champaign County, Julia Gergen from DuPage County, Elizabeth Kreke from Effingham County, Sierra Kreke from Effingham County, Avery LaSarge from Effingham County, Zoey LaSarge from Effingham County, Lainey Davis from Hamilton County, Maddie Karcher from Hamilton County, Gracie Walker from Hamilton County, Shiloh Willis from Hamilton County, Granger Wilson from Hamilton County, Ava Pulley from Jersey County, Aidan Knobloch from Kankakee County, Johnathan Tauchen from Lake County, Elizabeth Cornett from Macon County, Todd Brawley from Macoupin County, Anna Cloniger from Macoupin County, Caleb Cloniger from Macoupin County, Ethan Cloniger from Macoupin County, Makenna Harding from Macoupin County, Payton Harding from Macoupin County, Braylee Gilmore from Macoupin County, Carter Joiner from Macoupin County, Hallee Kaburick from Macoupin County, Jonathan Royer from Macoupin County, Natalie Royer from Macoupin County, Josiah Schuette from Macoupin County, Nathan Perkins from McHenry County, Rebecca Perkins from McHenry County, Gabriella Harshbarger from McLean County, Madison Harshbarger from McLean County, Erika McBeath from McLean County, Kate Jungmann from Mercer County, Amanda Niemann from Montgomery County, Abram Walker from Morgan County, Eli Walker from Morgan County, Lydia Sherburne from Ogle County, Abagayle Britton from Pulaski-Alexander County, Caleb Pierce from Pulaski-Alexander County, Joshua Pierce from Pulaski-Alexander County, Levi Pierce from Pulaski-Alexander County, Ava Ralls from Pulaski-Alexander County, Landon Ralls from Pulaski-Alexander County, Alaina Smith from Randolph County, Kylie Kocher from Richland County, Wyatt Arnold from Saline County, Lilah Bonny from Shelby County, Delaney Nation from Shelby County, Alaina Dinderman from Stephenson County, Katryna Borders from Union County, Sabryna Borders from Union County, Averie Dickinson from Union County, Madison Dickinson from Union County, Holleigh Hiller from Washington County, Katelyn Allen from White County, Annsley Healy from White County, Grace McCarty from White County, Jalynn Phillips from White County, Brooklyn Thompson from White County, Johanna Zieren from White County, Avery Edler from Will County, Vanessa Edler from Will County, Peter Widinski from Will County, Rosemary Widinski from Will County, and Shyla Crouch from Woodford County.

Emerald Level Award Winners in Community Service include Andrea Schaffnit from Adams County, Emilee Cox from Hamilton County, Ethan Womble from Jackson County, Annemarie Ralston from Kendall County, Janella Neary from Monroe County, Kenley Davis from White County, and Katelyn Garner from White County.

The Deb Stocker Award honors an exceptional member of the 4-H Youth Leadership Team. This year’s recipient was Ross Vancil of Henderson County.

4-H Sustaining the Future Award Sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau and Affiliates named
Andrea Schaffnit from Adams County, Alexis Nall from Mason County, Drew Mickey from Christian County, Lauren Nall from Mason County, Emma Whitaker from Hancock County, Janella Neary from Monroe County, Emily West from Knox County, Elaan Bader from Montgomery County, Saralynn Joiner from Macoupin County, and Kaylee Blackford from Vermilion County as this year’s recipients.

“We are beyond proud of the commitment and care these 4-H’ers have brought to their local community and beyond, and we know they inspire a continued generation of 4-H youth across the state,” says Carey.

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 then 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. 

Source:  Melissa Irwin, State 4-H Club Support & Awards Associate,, Kevin Carey, Acting 4-H Director

Writer:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,

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.