BROOKINGS, S.D. — Ten South Dakota 4-H members have been selected as the 2022 South Dakota 4-H State Scholarship recipients. Scholarship recipients are selected based on scholastic achievement, 4-H project involvement, character, financial need and scholarship-specific criteria.
South Dakota 4-H scholarships are funded by donors and the South Dakota 4-H program. Recipients of the 2022 scholarships are:
John F. and Beryl Younger 4-H Scholarship
The John F. and Beryl Younger 4-H Scholarship was awarded to Shania Cornelius of Sanborn County. Cornelius graduated from Sanborn Central High School and will be attending South Dakota State University to pursue a degree in English education. Cornelius has been a member of 4-H for nearly 10 years and has enjoyed being a member because it has allowed her to become more knowledgeable in agriculture and become closer to other members of her community. Cornelius’s favorite 4-H project was shooting sports, more specifically archery, where she competed at the state shoot for several years.
Matz Family Scholarship
The Matz Family Scholarship was awarded to Matea Gordon of Lawrence County. Gordon attended Sturgis Brown High School and will attend SDSU to pursue a degree in agricultural business. Gordon’s passion for agriculture grew throughout her ten years of 4-H membership by participating in judging activities, showing meat goats and serving as a State 4-H Ambassador for two years. Gordon also served her club in many officer roles including secretary, president and community service chair. Her favorite 4-H projects include the meat goat and health projects.
Robert and Maxine Olson 4-H Endowment Scholarship
The Robert and Maxine Olson 4-H Endowment Scholarship was awarded to Maia Pochop of Lawrence County. Pochop completed her freshman year at SDSU in May 2022 and is pursuing a degree in early childhood education. Pochop was a former 4-H Cloverbud educator in her 4-H club and was involved in the child development project, which allowed her to complete an internship with a first-grade class at a local elementary school. Pochop also volunteered at a preschool and was a Character All-Star, which allowed her to speak about character pillars at a few different elementary assemblies. Her favorite 4-H projects to participate in were character education and foods and nutrition.
Folkerts Family Scholarship
The Folkerts Family Scholarship was awarded to Kaitlyn Prezler of Edmunds County. Prezler currently attends SDSU and is pursuing degrees in wildlife and fisheries sciences and ecology and environmental sciences with a specialization in rangeland management. Prezler found an interest in rangeland management after seeing soil demonstrations at her county achievement days. She enjoyed helping younger 4-H members learn proper showmanship in the dog, cat, rabbit and poultry programs. In doing so, she was able to share her passion for showing animals and help teach the younger members the importance of respecting their animals. Prezler’s favorite 4-H projects were the dog project and shooting sports, specifically archery.
Bob Healy Memorial 4-H Scholarship
The Bob Healy Memorial 4-H Scholarship was awarded to Ella Stiefvater of McCook County. Stiefvater plans to attend SDSU to pursue a degree in agricultural communications, with the goal to become an agriculture television reporter. Stiefvater’s 4-H experiences influenced her career decision by introducing her to several activities that grew her passion for agriculture. Stiefvater served as a State 4-H Ambassador, participated in the State 4-H Legislature program, participated in public speaking contests and excelled in photography. Her favorite 4-H projects include raising and showing market lambs and the photography project.
This year, the Sokota Scholarship was awarded to five 4-H members who are currently enrolled as students at SDSU.
The first Sokota Scholarship recipient is Reese McKenna of Butte County. McKenna attended Belle Fourche High School and will attend SDSU to pursue a degree in animal science with a focus in pre-veterinary medicine. McKenna hopes to become a large animal veterinarian and specialize in equine or surgery. Her 4-H involvement in the sheep, horse and rabbit projects is what helped solidify her career path. She has also been involved in the 4-H Character All-Stars, which allowed her to build her leadership skills by presenting character traits to younger 4-H members. McKenna’s favorite 4-H projects include the sheep project and shooting sports.
The second Sokota Scholarship recipient is Teagan Miller of Day County. Miller currently attends SDSU and is pursuing a degree in family and consumer sciences education. Her plan is to become a middle school and high school teacher for family and consumer sciences courses and to become an advisor for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. Throughout her time in 4-H, Miller has served as a 4-H chapter officer, junior leader and State 4-H Ambassador. She has enjoyed providing community service through her 4-H club and helping younger 4-H members with their livestock. Additionally, she enjoyed participating in barrel racing and pole bending events through 4-H rodeo for six years.
The third Sokota Scholarship recipient is Madison Preston of Custer County. Preston attended Rapid City Central High School and plans to attend SDSU this fall to pursue a degree in human biology. Preston has been a Custer County 4-H member for ten years and has served as the president of her club for four years. Preston has enjoyed engaging in community service with her club by making blankets for nursing home residents, gathering food for the local food pantry and donating to the local humane society. In addition to her 4-H activities, Preston also participates in softball, band, track, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), student council and helps with her church’s vacation bible school. Preston’s favorite 4-H projects include shooting sports and a wood construction and finish display exhibit.
The fourth Sokota Scholarship recipient is Tashina Red Hawk of Todd County. Red Hawk attended Todd County High School and will attend SDSU to pursue a degree in animal science with a focus in pre-veterinary medicine. Red Hawk is the recipient of the 2022 4-H Youth in Action Award for Agriculture, has been awarded for her charitable veterinary work in her Rosebud Sioux Tribe community and is the first South Dakota 4-H’er to win a National Youth in Action award. Red Hawk volunteers as a veterinarian assistant at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Animal Clinic and is serving her second term as the 2021-2022 South Dakota High School Rodeo Queen.
The fifth Sokota Scholarship recipient is Jessemy Sharp of Brown County. Sharp attended Aberdeen Central High School and will attend SDSU to pursue a degree in dairy manufacturing. Heavily influenced by her 4-H experiences with showing dairy cattle, Sharp hopes to pursue a career that is involved with the research and production of dairy products. Sharp has held the role of president of her 4-H club and also served as a State 4-H Ambassador. In addition to showing dairy cattle, she enjoyed participating in the public speaking project area.
Scholarship applications are due to the State 4-H Office by April 1 of each year. Application instructions for upcoming 4-H scholarships can be found on the SDSU Extension website.
For more information, contact Rachel Chamblin, SDSU Extension 4-H Program Assistant, at 605-688-4167 or Rachel.Chamblin@sdstate.edu.
— SDSU Extension