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Honoring our top 4-H graduates

The month of May means we get to celebrate our graduating high school seniors and award the La Plata County 4-H Higher Education Scholarships. These scholarships are given out to our outstanding 4-H members who are continuing their education in the fall. Our senior 4-H members are not only leaders in our 4-H community but also mentors to younger club members. We were so lucky to have had each one in our program, and I will greatly miss them.

Each award recipient is given the same amount for their scholarship, so there isn’t an official placing, but I always enjoy bragging about how outstanding our members are, so in no particular order, here are the winners:

  • Our first award recipient is Kori Jenkins. Jenkins has been in 4-H for 10 years and has held every officer position in her club. She is an integral member of our Livestock Judging Team and was one of the members that qualified to compete in Scotland. She has excelled in her swine projects every year, showing all over the country and at the national level. Kori will be attending Redlands Community in El Reno, Oklahoma and will study agriculture economics and agriculture communications. When asked about 4-H, Jenkins said “It is hard to describe all that 4-H has given me. The opportunities, the people, and the lessons I learned are irreplaceable.”
  • The second is award recipient is Sidney Elliott. Elliott has been in 4-H for seven years and has held an officer position five of those years. Sidney has been an amazing leader and mentor to the other members in her club. Her passion and enthusiasm are infectious, and she really makes the best better. A few years ago, she wanted to encourage her fellow members to focus on the four H’s: Head, Heart, Hands and Health. So at the end of each year, she gives special awards to the club members that have made special efforts in those areas. This has created such a positive and fun environment within the club because everyone is doing their very best to uphold the ideals of 4-H. In the fall, she will be attending Colorado State University to study equine sciences.
  • Our third award recipient is Rebekah Latham. Latham has been in 4-H for seven years and has held an officer position for four of those years. She is such a genuinely kind person that people love to be around her. She has been such a wonderful mentor to her fellow club members because she really listens and cares about others. When asked about her 4-H experience, Latham said “4-H has helped me to become a more confident person within leadership and myself.” She has a passion for farming and will be attending Colorado Mesa University to study sustainable agriculture and business.
  • Our fourth award recipient is Madalynn Stephenson. Stephenson has been in 4-H for 14 years and has held two county council officer positions, including president. As county council president, she had the opportunity to help make big decisions about the La Plata County 4-H program and did a wonderful job guiding the other officers. She is a great leader and has wonderful communication skills. When asked how 4-H has impacted her, Stephenson said “Because of 4-H, I am more confident in myself and have stepped up in several challenging positions in school and at work.” She will be attending Wyoming Tech and will study diesel mechanics.
  • Our final award recipient is Gary Wright. Wright has been in 4-H for 10 years and has shown beef each year. He is a kind and respectful young man. He always has a wonderful attitude and is willing to help anyone in any situation. Wright said, “4-H has given me work experience, attention to details and perseverance in my projects and helped me with daily life.” He will be studying agricultural business and range management at either Trinidad State or Casper Community College.

We are so proud of Wright, Stephenson, Latham, Elliott and Jenkins in all of their successes, both personally and in 4-H. This is just their beginning; I cannot wait to see what their futures hold.

Thank you to our amazing community for their support, which gives us the ability to offer these scholarships to our outstanding youth. If you would like to support La Plata County 4-H, please contact the Extension Office.

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.