Congratulations to our area State 4-H Scholarship winners!

4-H Award Winners

The Illinois 4-H Foundation provided $25,000 in college scholarships and awarded another $20,000in national conference travel scholarships this year.“Our donors are generous and believe that higher education changes lives,” said Angie Barnard, Foundation executive director. Donors include Nann Armstrong, Patricia Clickener, Lila Jeanne Eichelberger, Keith and Lissa Parr, Donna Mueller, Dee Murray, George Obernagel, Legacy of Leadership endowment contributors, LA-CO,Barbara and George Clark, Barbaraand George Clark, Ryan and Elaine Ruwe, Marvin and Elizabeth Schnitzler, Carrie Francis, Jason and Andrya Smith, Auxiliary to the Illinois State Veterinary Medicine Association and the Illinois 4-H Foundation.

Illinois 4-H Foundation presents the Legacy of Leadership Scholarship to 4-H members who demonstrate and maintain a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery during their membership tenure. Local winners are: Erin Anderson and Karlie Wilken, Iroquois County.

State 4-H Award Winners

Twenty-four young adults were also recognized as winners in one of five divisions of the State 4-H Award. Each winner may choose either a $1,000 scholarship or a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.

The communication division winner is Mallory Ames of Champaign County.

In the leadership division, our local winner was Delaney Smith of Champaign County.

The 4-H Experience Award recognizes youth who excel in that challenge.The award is sponsored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation. We celebrate youth whose 4-H experiences have expanded outside their home county to the state, national,or international level,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean and Illinois 4-H director.Youth earning the two highest levels, diamond and emerald, are recognized at the state level.

Local winners at the Emerald Level in Leadership are Lauren Brademas and Delaney Smith, both of Champaign County.

Local winners at the Emerald Level in Project Learning are: Eiralys Unzicker, Elowyn Unzicker, Evan Unzicker, and Dylan Zwilling, all of Champaign County.

Mallory Ames

  • State Award: Communications

Champaign County | Philo 4-H Friends, Teen Teachers, Federation

Mallory has enhanced her communication skills by participating in the food demonstration and public speaking contests. She made videos to help prepare new 4-H fair exhibitors. In her project work, she learns from professional mentors to build skills in photography, interior design, and stained-glass art. She serves her community as a Federation leader.

“4-H is an opportunity to develop skills in communication, leadership, and execution. It is a great resource to develop relationships with area professionals to assist you in your future endeavors.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: I plan to pursue a dual major in Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Business with a minor in Spanish at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Erin Anderson

  • Legacy of Leadership Scholarship

Iroquois County | Fountain Creek Stitch 'N Do 4-H Club, Fashion Board

Erin’s creativity shines in her 4-H project work, which includes scrapbooking, photography, shopping, communications, and creative writing. She believes the project work and judging interviews have made her better prepared for the transition to college. Working on the fashion board taught her the benefits of working as a team toward a common goal.

 “Through 4-H, I have made lifelong friendships, tried new things, stepped out of my comfort zone, and have grown into a better leader. 4-H has also brought my love of agriculture to new heights. I have learned how to take a loss and accept success with grace and gratitude.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Plans to attend Danville Community College, then transfer to a 4-year university to study agricultural communications


Lauren Brademas

  • Emerald Experience Leadership

Champaign County | All School 4-H Club

Lauren has been a mentor and leader in 4-H. She served as a 4-H Memorial Camp counselor and used those skills to excel as a special needs church camp counselor at Baby Fold Camp. She has attended four church mission trips, helping to repair homes and hearts of those living in difficult situations. Her experience with the Champaign County Young Entrepreneurs program and the 4-H Be the E! project helped her create a business plan for her cake business.

“4H has allowed me to figure out what to do with my life!”

Career goals: Lauren hopes to participate in the University of Illinois Facilities and Services pre-apprenticeship program, followed by the Parkland College Highway Construction Program. She’ll also study business at Parkland and U of I.


Delaney Smith

  • Emerald Experience Leadership
  • State Award: Leadership

Champaign County | Champaign County 4-H Livestock Club, Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher 4-H Club, Teen Teachers

Delaney was a 2019 States’ 4-H International Exchange delegate to Finland. Her family also hosted a Korean delegate. As a Teen Teacher, she plans and delivers educational programs. She is a 4-H Buddy for new members and organized county workshops on horses. She promoted international opportunities at the county and state events.

“4-H is an opportunity to grow and thrive as an individual and then share my passions with others I meet. 4-H has broadened my understanding of the world, grown my confidence as a leader, and allowed me to impact my community in positive ways.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Delaney will study animal science and poultry at the University of Illinois. She hopes to travel and work in the poultry industry.


Eiralys Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Cosmic Coders

Eiralys participated in robotics, computer programming, and food projects and attended the First Lego League. As Eiralys begins her 4-H career, she is enjoying club activities and speaking at the public speaking contest.

“4-H has opened my eyes to see the possibilities in the world, including ideas for future careers.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Eiralys wants to be an actress and a professional Irish dancer.


Elowyn Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Teen Teachers

Elowyn competed in the state speaking contest and exhibited creative writing at the state fair. She is a Teen Teacher and also volunteered at the local park district theater company.

 “4-H is a way for me to experience several aspects of the business world and education.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Elowyn hopes to study art, film, or music and provide voice acting for clients around the world.


Evan Unzicker

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Champaign Shamrocks 4-H Club, Cosmic Coders, Teen Teacher

Evan is president of his club and has also competed in the regional and state robotics competitions. He judged at the 2019 contest. He also taught students at Champaign County schools as a 4-H Teen Teacher. In addition to robotics, he exhibits aerospace, computer science, visual arts, and food.

“I like to explore new things. Watching younger kids learn from me made me feel happy.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Evan would like to be a licensed airline pilot.

Karlie Wilken

  • Legacy of Leadership Scholarship

Iroquois County | Ashkum Go-Getters 4-H Club

Karlie has a broad project interest. She excels in floriculture and visual arts at the state fair and also enjoys small pets, sewing, tractors, scrapbooking, and cooking projects. With her club, she helps at blood drives, donates canned goods to the food pantry, shops for youth on the Angel tree, make valentines for nursing home residents, and makes blessing bags for the homeless.

“4-H challenges you in new ways, exposes you to new experiences, allows you to follow your passions, and, most importantly, aids you in serving your community.”

EDUCATION & CAREER: Karlie plans to study diagnostic medical sonography at Lewis University and complete clinical at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.


Dylan Zwilling

  • Emerald Experience Project Learning

Champaign County | Fantastic 4-Hers of Fisher 4-H Club, Livestock Judging Club

Dylan enjoys agricultural projects. As part of his tractor project, he job-shadowed at a local mower repair shop. He grows vegetables, which he donates to local food pantries. He serves his community by sending gifts to troops overseas, makes blankets fr St. Jude’s Children Hospitals, sings at the nursing homes, and built benches for a local park.

“4-H means that you can learn and try new things while also being a leader and teaching others. “

EDUCATION & CAREER: Dylan plans to work in the agricultural industry.