Achievement Program teaches about goals
Source: Kim Adams Foster, 4-H youth development specialist
4-H encourages young people to set and achieve their goals. To that end, the Kentucky 4-H Achievement Program was created to reward ambitious and accomplished young people throughout the state.
In the Achievement Program, young people receive recognition and prizes for their accomplishments in 4-H and their community. 4-H’ers can start accumulating points as soon as they start 4-H and begin earning recognition in the sixth grade. With a new 4-H program year beginning in September, now is the time for 4-H’ers to start thinking about their goals and how the Achievement Program could help.
In the program, young people can earn points toward the completion of each of five non-competitive levels by participating in various leadership opportunities, projects, activities and events. Points are given based on whether the activity occurred at the county, district, state or national levels, with point totals ranging from county level events earning one point to national events receiving four points. The program’s non-competitive levels range from Level I which requires 25 points and being a sixth-grader to Level V where a 4-H’er earns 200 points and is in at least the 10th grade.
Students who complete either Level I or Level II of the program will receive a certificate at the 4-H Teen Summit.
Levels III, IV and V have the opportunity to apply for additional competitive achievement awards. These awards include bronze, silver, gold and emerald levels. To reach the bronze level, 4-H’ers must be in the eighth grade and reached Level III. Each of the state’s seven Extension districts can choose to submit the applications of 15 4-H’ers, and those 105 receive a $50 scholarship to the 4-H Teen Conference.
To apply for the silver level, 4-H’ers must be in at least the ninth grade and earned the Level IV award. Once again, each district can submit the applications of 15 4-H’ers, but of those 105 applicants, 60 are selected. Those 60 receive a $125 scholarship to the Teen Conference.
4-H’ers in the 10th grade who have reached Level V can apply for the gold award. Gold applicants must complete a community service project. For the project, the 4-H’er interviews community members about problems in the community, decides on one problem to concentrate on, develops a solution and leads a group of individuals to complete it. Each district can submit 10 applicants for the gold award. Of the 70 statewide applicants, 30 are selected. Gold winners receive a $160 scholarship to the Teen Conference and a $750 scholarship to the 2014 National 4-H Congress.
The top 10 gold winners from the current 4-H program year as well as gold winners from previous years are invited to apply for the emerald level in March. Those seeking emerald status must complete a county honors application, emerald application, an up-to-date resume and personal PowerPoint by May 15. These applications will go before a committee and the top 15 will take part in an interview and present their PowerPoint at Teen Conference. The four applicants selected for this level will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the annual National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., and $1,000 college scholarship.
The 2013 Emerald Award winners are Connor Cooper and Brooklynn Yonts from Muhlenburg County, Paige Hart from Caldwell County and Hannah Myers from Campbell County.
4-H’ers should check with their county 4-H youth development agent for local 4-H Achievement Program application deadlines. Agents must submit applications to the state 4-H office by Dec. 15.
For more information about the Kentucky 4-H Achievement Program, contact the (YOUR COUNTY) Cooperative Extension Service.
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.