2018-02-11 / News

Youths interview for 4-H scholarships

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese @mihomepaper.com


Some of Lapeer County’s best and brightest 4-H Club members await in-person interviews as they pursue various roles, awards or scholarships, including junior and senior ambassadors. 
Photo by Nicholas Pugliese Some of Lapeer County’s best and brightest 4-H Club members await in-person interviews as they pursue various roles, awards or scholarships, including junior and senior ambassadors. Photo by Nicholas Pugliese LAPEER TWP. — Lapeer County’s 4-H collection of youth clubs provides their student members with experience beyond the expected. Earlier this month, 13 Lapeer-area 4-H youth members headed to the Michigan State University Extension Office on Genesee Road to interview for a variety of roles and awards, including this year’s junior and senior ambassadors, all-around awards, the Michigan 4-H Key Club and more.

In addition, a handful of students interviewed for the chance to earn one of three scholarships — the National 4-H Congress Scholarship valued at $1,500, the Michigan 4-H Capitol Experience Scholarship of $350 and the 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus Scholarship, valued at $1,450.

The 13 students, aged from 11-20 years old, were interviewed by volunteer interviewers Elizabeth Beaubien of FCA, Nicholas Pugliese of the Lapeer County Press, Ann Konarski of LCAN and Lori Hulker of Champion Recruiting, Lapeer County Drain Commissioner Joe Suma and Jolene Kreiner, Lapeer County Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs Administrative Assistant.

These interviews are a tradition, said Brenda Patrick, 4-H Secretary. “I have records of some awards dating back to mid-60s,” she said. “While I can’t confirm they were interviewed and chosen in the exact same way, we do know this interview process has been conducted for at least the past four decades.”

The students were also required to include an essay that combined with the interview results to produce a score used to determine their placement for their sought-after award or role. The junior and senior ambassadors will also be expected to be “the face of (the local 4-H) program,” said program coordinator Kathy George. “(Ambassadors) attend the local parades as well as talking with clubs about the various opportunities 4-H has to offer both in the county, as well as state/national events,” she said. “They also represent 4-H at fair by working with the fair board to do all of the announcements during fair week over the loud speaker, plan and execute the annual 4-H dance at fair and participate in all of the awards ceremonies during fair week by assisting in award presentations and livestock auction.”

As part of their duty promoting 4-H programs, ambassadors will also do their part dispelling the notion that 4-H is exclusively a livestock-related organization. Last year, Lapeer County’s 4-H boasted 490 members, including 169 adult leaders and 110 teen leaders and 42 long-term clubs. “Most clubs have a variety of projects, so they can’t be separated by just animal vs. non-animal,” said George. “This offers youth an opportunity to explore many projects without having to belong to multiple clubs, if they choose.”

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