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University of Illinois Extension serving Logan, Menard and Sangamon Counties

Main Office (Sangamon County)
700 S. Airport Drive
Springfield, IL 62707
Phone: 217-782-4617
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Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm)

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980 N. Postville Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-732-8289
FAX: 217-735-5837
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420 S. 7th St.
Petersburg, IL 62675
Phone: 217-632-7491
FAX: 217-632-2425
Hours: Monday & Wednesday 8:30 am - Noon and 1 pm - 4 pm (Closed 12 - 1 pm)

News Release

Accent photo

State awards presented to 4-H members

4-H members from across the state were honored for their lifetime 4-H achievements in a ceremony held on October 7th in Champaign.  The Illinois State 4-H Award recognizes exemplary work in five major areas, including communications, community service, leadership, personal growth and project mastery.  

Winners received either a trip to National 4-H Congress, $1,000 toward the cost of another national 4-H event, or a $1,000 college scholarship as their prize.   Logan County 4-H members selected as Illinois Award winners include Molly Schempp in the area of Personal Growth, daughter of Darin & Cindy Schempp of Atlanta who selected a college scholarship as her award and Katie Lynn in the area of Community Service who will be attending National 4-H Congress held in Atlanta, Georgia, daughter of Kevin & Tina Lynn of Lincoln.    Highlights of Katie & Molly’s selection follow.

Molly Schempp:  Molly’s primary work in the 4-H program has been in the Public Presentations, Meat Goats, and Beef project areas, but she credits her overall 4-H experience for helping her grow as an individual. She started taking multiple projects in her early membership years, but kept narrowing it down to the projects that were most interesting to her. Her goal in creating project displays for the 4-H shows went from “Is it blue ribbon worthy” to “Does it effectively show and tell what I learned?” Molly now strives for depth in her project exhibits and says that working on her projects has taught her to reflect, efficiently communicate with strangers what she has learned, and design fun displays. Her leadership abilities have developed over time as well. She has taught a session during their summer 4-H Creativity Lab which helped to improve her organizational and teaching skills.

Katie Lynn:  Katie’s caring heart drives her to find different ways to serve the communities around her. A church mission trip opened her eyes to the challenges that people face. She worked with her 4-H Ambassador group to become active in working with a homeless shelter. The group served food last year and will be returning this year to assist again. In addition to serving a meal, the group is collecting socks and gloves for residents at the shelter. While Katie works to provide service to those less fortunate, what she enjoys most is the conversations with those she is serving and listening to their stories. She collects donations prior to an annual fund-raising trail ride each year, and then rides her horse the 60 miles to the trail ride location to present the donation. In three years, she raised over $6,300 for St. Jude’s. She loves helping her community by doing something that she truly loves.

Legacy of Leadership Scholarships were presented at the Illinois 4-H State Recognition Event as well.  Nine teens were awarded $1,000 scholarships based on their achievements in the Illinois 4-H program. The Illinois 4-H Foundation presented these scholarships to 4-H teens who have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery during their membership.  Logan County 4-H member Katlyn Helton, daughter of Pete & Kristen Helton, of Middletown, was honored as a scholarship recipient.  Highlight of Katlyn’s selection follows.

Katlyn Helton: As a 4-H Ambassador and Teen Teacher, Katlyn is involved in helping design anti-bullying programs, teaching basic cooking skills, and planning and leading the Logan County 4-H Cloverbud Day Camp. She plans to major in biology and become a pediatrician, and hopes to travel and volunteer in countries that need medical assistance. She also wants to establish a foundation to mentor children who are focused on making a difference in the world, providing them with opportunities to volunteer and learn. Katlyn has already made huge strides in her future with the different volunteer organizations with which she has worked. From initiating a support group for girls at a local community center to starting a 4-H mentoring program at the local junior high and working with youth with learning disabilities, Katlyn demonstrates her passion for serving others and her ability to reach the goals she has set. Katlyn is a past National 4-H Congress delegate and State 4-H Key Award winner. 

“Through their words and actions, the 4-H members honored with the Legacy of Leadership and scholarships have taken their personal leadership skills to the next level by elevating others around them,” said Debra Stocker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist.

 “Our awardees embody the true spirit of 4-H, having made a difference not only in their communities, but also Illinois and the nation,” said Lisa Diaz, U of I Extension assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H. “As we look ahead to the future, we are proud of the dedication, service, and fortitude of the young men and women who have developed through our 4-H programs.”

Additional information about the Awards Banquet and winners can be found at    All Illinois State 4-H awards and Legacy of Leadership Scholarships are supported through donor gifts to the Illinois 4-H Foundation.

Local Contact: Patty Huffer, Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth,