BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois 4-H volunteers empower and prepare youth for success as the program relies on its more than 15,000 volunteers to fill key leadership and mentoring roles.  Longtime volunteers and former staff members were recently honored by the Illinois 4-H Foundation for their selfless dedication to the University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development program.

In 2021, 71 individuals received the Foundation Hall of Fame Award, presented during a virtual ceremony August 17.  Four of the honorees are being named posthumously. The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate 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 either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board. Each inductee receives a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.

“These volunteers are a model of 4-H values,” says Angie Barnard, Illinois 4-H Foundation executive director.
“All of our volunteers are valuable, but this award honors those that go above and beyond. These are volunteers that helped shape not only individuals, but generations of 4-H members.”

We are proud to announce McLean County 4-H leader Linda Faye White as one of those honorees into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame.

Linda is a 4-H Alum and has been an integral part of the McLean 4-H program for over 11 years. Her desire to become a 4-H leader came from wanting to encourage diversity and inclusion in the 4-H program in McLean County. She has not only embraced volunteering as a club leader but has moved to serve in county and state capacities as well. Linda has been a local 4-H judge, State Fair judge, served two terms on the McLean County Extension Council, Unity Council, and currently serves on the McLean County Foundation, Extension State Advisory Council, and the new State 4-H Diversity Equity Inclusion task force.

After many years in the classroom, Linda moved on to work for State Farm where she retired. Linda gives tirelessly to 4-H not just in McLean County but throughout the state of Illinois. She values the 4-H mission and enjoys teaching youth and giving back to her community. Her volunteering and passion at the state and local level has not gone unnoticed! Thank you and congratulations, Linda!  

Illinois 4-H programs reach nearly 120,000 youth each year through 4-H clubs, camps, educational programs, workshops, and conferences held in communities, schools, parks, and homes across Illinois. Volunteers fill key leadership and mentoring roles throughout the state.

To volunteer in McLean County, please request information from the Extension office at 309-663-8306. “There is a place for everyone in 4-H, whether you have an hour or a lifetime to give,” Barnard says.

“The Foundation provides avenues to support the work of Illinois 4-H by accepting financial gifts specifically directed to the program you wish to support,” Barnard said. “Gift planning services are available to those wishing to continue their 4-H legacy.” The Illinois 4-H Foundation raises private funds that are invested in Illinois 4-H programs that provide meaningful, positive development experiences for Illinois youth to develop leadership, citizenship, and life skills. To learn more, visit: 4hfoundation.illinois.edu.

For Further Information Contact:
News Source: Katie Buckley, 4-H Youth Educator, McLean County, 309-663-8306
News Writer: Carissa Nelson, 4-H Media Communications Manager, carissa7@illinois.edu

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.  

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.