The career achievements of Illinois 4-H members were lauded at the Illinois 4-H Celebration of Excellence held this spring at the I Hotel & Conference Center. The ceremony celebrated career achievements of 4-H members and the Illinois 4-H Foundation awarded $45,000 in scholarships as part of the celebration.
The scholarships are awarded to five Illinois 4-H members in nine focus categories and are based on merit and a demonstrated standard of 4-H excellence.
“My wife Janette and I give to the Illinois 4-H Foundation in honor of my parents and maternal grandparents,” says donor Kevin Rhoades, a Fayette County 4-H alum. “I saw what a difference 4-H made for all my extended family members growing up, and what it meant to my mother, Mary Ann, who was a leader for so many years. We felt it was important to help provide resources for 4-H to continue to help bring those life skills and values to young people and future leaders from throughout Illinois.”
Forty-five young adults were chosen as scholarship winners in one of nine divisions of the State 4-H Award. Each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship.
The Animal Sciences award recognizes youth who have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery in their animal science projects.
Woodford County youth and member of the Eastside Producers 4-H Club Jacqueline Schertz received these honors. This award was sponsored by Tim and Belinda Carey, George Obernagel, Keith and Lissa Parr, and Mark and Lee Ann Gossett.
Schertz has completed a variety of projects through 4-H, ranging from health to entomology, with her favorites including cooking, floriculture, floral arranging, and public speaking. She has shown six different species of animals in 4-H, specializing in cattle. She explores her specialty by spending time researching different diseases, breeds, and animal practices.
Schertz shared, “4-H has taught me humility. I learned to be able to take criticism, learn from it, and make changes as needed.”
Schertz plans to attend the University of Illinois to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education. She wants to teach at a high school as an agriculture instructor as well as help run her family grain operation.