WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Penn State Extension in Chester County recognized 7 youth as part of their annual Spirit of 4-H Award presented over Zoom on August 20th.
The Chester County Spirit of 4-H Award was started in 1998 by Saddle Up 4-H Horse and Pony Club. The award went to a 4-H member that demonstrated the most spirit, enthusiasm, and willingness to do anything for 4-H or the community. It was an honor for 4-H members to be awarded the Spirit of 4-H Award. In 2007 Saddle Up 4-H Horse and Pony Club, with 4-H Advisory Committee support, made the Spirit of 4-H Award a county wide award that will be awarded to one Chester County 4-H member at the Chester County 4-H Fair each year.
4-H club leaders nominate one member from each club that demonstrated the most spirit, enthusiasm, and willingness to do anything for 4-H or the community each year. Once nominated the members are asked to complete and return an application to be reviewed by the 4-H Program Development Committee who selects the Chester County 4-H member that is most deserving of the award.
In 2020 we honored one 4-H member as the winner of the Spirit of 4-H Award and six additional 4-H members with Certificates of Achievement.
Those youth that were recognized with Certificates are:
Rosa Johnson is an active member of Tri-Community Dairy Club and the Chester County Swine Club. Nominated by Abby Bramm of Tri-Community Dairy club for her tremendous personal growth in the program, she is a vital member of the club for her hard work and commitment. She is active in promoting 4-H and her clubs through participation in the Tractor Supply Clover Campaign, Springton Manor’s Sheep and Wool Day and this year created a video dairy public service announcement that was shred as part of National Dairy Month is June. Rosa helps other club members in both of her clubs and helps the community by donating milk to the Twin Valley Food Pantry. (resides in West Nantmeal Twp.)
Gianna Kopec is an active members of the Creative Cooks 4-H Club. Her club is a new club and Gianna has embraced her leadership responsibility as well as grown in her cooking skills this year. According to her club leaders she has shown wonderful attention to detail and imagination. She has created monthly newsletters for the club that are well written, informative, and fun to read. She put her “hands to larger service” during the early days of the pandemic by making masks and ear-savers for those in need. (resides in Upper Uwchlan Twp)
Summer Laurin is a member of the Veterinary Science Club and credits 4-H for helping her meet other youth with similar interests. As a former member of the Lead Changer’s 4-H clubs and now the Vet Science Club, she has had the opportunity to speak in front of groups and demonstrate how to care for animals. Her leader notes that she has a “very strong volunteer spirit” and she is also an active volunteer for the Brandywine Valley SPCA having volunteered over 4000 hours with them. (resides in Westtown Township)
Colton Nolan has been an active member of Manor Dairy Club for 10 years. He credits 4-H for giving him an opportunity to learn to care for and prepare animals for show. He has helped at countless dairy promotion events from petting zoo, Tractor Supply Paper Clover events, community events and at nursing homes. He has been an asset to his club and the 4-H dairy program and is always willing to jump in and help other members. According to his leaders “he has a kind heart and patient when helping younger members with their animals” (resides in East Marlborough Twp.)
Melinda Stoltzfus, nominated by the Golden Fleece Sheep club, is also an active member of the Beef, Swine, Goat and Teen Council Clubs. She credits 4-H as having impacted her life more than she could imagine and instilled in her a passion for the agriculture industry, as well as, helped her be an effective spokesperson for the agriculture industry. She has been active in promoting 4-H through various community events and says her 4-H experience has been “life changing” and she wants every child to the same opportunity and experience as she did through the 4-H program. (resides in West Marlborough)
Ronak Suchindra is an active member and leader in the Clover Rovers 4-H Robotic club. He said 4-H has helped him learn and grow in robotics skills, public speaking, and increase his critical thinking skills, self-confidence, organizational skills, time management and patience. He has learned the importance of being a good role model and helped in his community providing food for those in needs. Earlier this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Ronak created Kids Connect which provide free online workshops for kids as a way of connecting kids by sharing their knowledge on a skill and teaching others. (resides in Upper Uwchlan)
Our winner of the 2020 Chester County Spirit of 4-H Award is Madison Ullrich. Madison is member of Northern Chester County 4-H Horse club and says that 4-H has been instrumental in her life. She considers her 4-H club as close friends and her leaders and mentors. Spending time with her 4-H family and horse has given her purpose, hope, pride, and unconditional love. 4-H has taught her confidence, resilience, and determination. The skills learned through 4-H have helped her in 4-H but also at school. Her leader notes that Madison helped the new officers understand their roles and makes meeting and other club activities run with energy and good will (resides in Upper Uwchlan)
Madison received a plaque in recognition for being selected winner of the Spirit of 4-H Award, as well as having her name on a plaque displayed at the Romano 4-H Center of Chester County.
–Toni M. Stuetz, Penn State Extension