Several Utah State University Extension 4-H professionals are the recent recipients of two national awards from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. The Search for Excellence in Teen Programming Team Category Award was given to 4-H professionals who implemented the USU Extension 4-H and Fidelity Investments’ Money Mentors Financial Literacy Program, and the Promotional Piece Team Category Award was given to the Washington County team for promotional advertising of 4-H Maker activities.
The USU Extension 4-H financial literacy professional team consists of David Francis, Amanda Christensen, Zuri Garcia, Margie Memmott, Paul Hill, Stacey MacArthur and Sheri Anderson. Utah 4-H was awarded grant funds to team up with Fidelity Investments to collaborate on a Teens Reaching Youth (TRY) volunteer program designed to increase financial literacy through a peer teaching experience.
Fidelity Investments volunteers taught 81 TRY Team participants using curriculum written by Utah 4-H faculty. The curriculum actively engages students in hands-on, experiential activities while learning basic financial concepts, such as how to budget, save and manage their money. In addition to the financial literacy content, youth participants were taught leadership and program facilitation skills. Once trained, TRY teams taught 470 youth for six hours in their respective counties, including Cache, Washington, Wayne, Morgan, Utah, Davis, Millard, Duchesne, Tooele and Salt Lake.
The Washington County professional team that received the Promotional Piece Award consisted of Paul Hill, Miriam Force, Nicole Barnson and Laurie Terry. Promotional items assisted in filling 4-H Maker activities to capacity, with 173 youth participating who created blue-ribbon quality projects they will enter in their county fairs this month. Youth who participated in the Maker activities expressed a significant increase in STEM abilities and interest in pursuing a STEM degree in college.
“We are honored in Extension that our programs and employees are being recognized with these national awards,” said Kevin Kesler, USU Extension 4-H director. “We have dedicated employees and programs that are making a difference in the lives of our youth in Utah and will help them to be contributing, productive citizens.”