Category Archives: Delaware 4-H’ers in the News

Senior Spotlight

Delaware 4-H congratulates all of our 4-H High School Seniors! We are proud of each one of you! All of you have made a positive impact on our program and we look forward to what your future holds! Thank you to all members who submitted Senior Spotlights below!

 Olivia Bourdeau – Ponies & Pintails 4-H Club

Olivia is a senior at Polytech High School where she studies automotive technology.  Olivia was accepted into the UNOH (University of Northwestern Ohio) automotive high performance program with plans to join Nascar after graduation.  She now plans on attending UNOH and majoring in agribusiness marketing and management.  Aside from her academics, Olivia works at Foxden Farm where she has been riding horses       since the 5th grade.

McKenna Breeding – Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club
4-H has played a huge role in my upbringing and my high school career. Without 4-H I would not be where I am today or the person I have become. Attending State 4-H Camp, National 4-H Congress, and National 4-H Conference have gifted me new friends, unique opportunities, and lasting memories. My goat project has given me my passion for the livestock industry and the opportunity to compete at the North American International Livestock Exposition.

Along with 4-H. I have been very active in FFA and National Honors Society where I have served in various officer positions. My biggest accomplishments have receiving eighth nationally at the National FFA Convention for the Employment Skills LDE and being accepted to OSU’s Honors College. My love for Agricultural Communications and Animal Science has allowed me to be majoring at Oklahoma State University this fall. 4-H is forever to thank for who I am today and thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way!

Zeke Dichiaro – NCC C3 4-H Club
Zeke started out in 4H at the tender age of 10 when he signed up to attend the day camp at Townsend Hall.  He loved it!  He couldn’t wait to return each day and became of master of EVERY 4H song every written. He was so so smitten with day camp that he became a C.I.T. so he could be a volunteer counselor, a member of the C3 Leadership program and going to Camp Barnes? Every year became the Springtime ritual of asking if I had signed him up yet and for me not to miss the deadline! The friendships he has made are extraordinary…he has a 4H family.  This is Zeke’s senior year at Delaware Military Academy.  I am so proud of all he has accomplished, ending his DMA career as a Lt. Commander, making Distinguished Honor Roll every marking period, playing lacrosse and ice hockey, participating in the “Big/Little” program and so much more. Zeke is now moving on to be a “Fighting Blue Hen”!  He has been accepted into the College of Health Sciences. Over the summer, he will work, again, at a camp for special needs children.

 

Jonathan Dooling – Stump Corner 4-H Club
Jonathan Dooling is a senior at Towle Institute. He has fun at school with friends and gets good grades. He is looking forward to graduating and continuing his education at Delaware Tech. He has many interests, like building computers, learning about real estate and finances, playing video games and hanging out with friends.

Jonathan is currently the Vice President for the Stump Corner 4-H Club. He has also served as the President and Treasurer of the club. While he has enjoyed attending and entering photos in the fair, and all the community service projects his club has participated in, his favorite 4-H activity was camp. He will treasure these memories forever.

Sara Figurski – Hollymount 4-H Club
I started school by attending Eagles Nest Christian Academy, which is now Delmarva Christian. When I finished 5th grade my parents pulled me out for various reasons and decided to try homeschooling me. It turned out to be the best way for me to learn at my own pace and the flexibility to participate in activities. By homeschooling, I was able to volunteer at my church and at various DNREC activities. I am a senior in high school and I will be attending Del Tech in the fall, majoring in Early Childhood Development.

Since I enjoyed helping my community, I decided to try 4-H which I had heard about from a friend. I looked into Hollymount 4-H club and I have been member since 2017. I have enjoyed learning and participating in archery, photography, photography judging, cooking and serving my community. I am also the Vice President of Hollymount. I have fun being a member of 4-H because it has given me the opportunity to experience new things.

Nicholas Gardner – Vernon Creek 4-H Club
Nicholas Gardner and has been an active member of the Vernon Creek 4H Club for 13 years. His projects have included Community Service and Shooting Sports in which he has competed and placed in many Compound Bow Shoots.

He will be attending Delaware Technical Community College in the Fall, where he will be majoring in Agriculture Production.

Olivia Goehringer – Harbor Lights 4-H Club
Olivia Goehringer is a member of the Harbor Lights 4-H Club and is the last member of the Goehringer family to complete her time in 4-H. Her 10 siblings all participated and found 4H to be a vital part of their growth as youth. Olivia’s experience has been no different. Olivia has been a part of the Harbor Lights 4-H club for 12 years and her projects have included Theatre Arts, Public Speaking, Veterinarian Science, and Citizenship. She has had major roles in numerous plays that the club has performed and took on leadership roles as she matured. She has served as reporter, secretary, and is currently the president. She has particularly enjoyed participation in Junior leader’s events with the State Teen Conference being a highlight.

Olivia is a pianist and is heavily involved in the music ministry at Old Paths Church of Christ. This skill became so valuable during the 2020 lockdowns as she was instrumental in producing online videos for the Church. Her skills were put to the test and shined! This also gave her a great demonstration for the demonstration contest in 2020.  Olivia has a great love for animals and has worked for a local dog breeder for several years. She plans to attend Del Tech in the fall to study to become a veterinarian technician. Her senior project included a research paper on Sheep farming and parasite control. She plans to visit her brother’s sheep farm in Texas next month to put her learning to the test. She was the trophy winner for the senior division in the public speaking contest this year with a speech on this very topic.

Olivia can always be counted on to jump in and be a help to anyone in need. She has a great love for service and has been a great asset to the Harbor Lights 4-H Club. We wish her the very best in all her future endeavors.

Jenna Harmon – Stump Corner 4-H Club
Jenna is a Senior at Middletown Highschool.   She has been a member the Stump Corner 4-H club for 12 years.  She attended State 4-H camp for 8 years.  Jenna played field hockey and soccer all four years of high school.  She was an active member in Middletown’s FFA chapter. While she was an underclassmen, Jenna participated in many contests and traveled all over Delaware and even Indianapolis. She was elected to lead the Middletown FFA chapter this year as the chapter president.  Other activities she participated in was Athletic Leadership and FCA.
Jenna took the plant science and Natural Resources pathway at Middletown.  She was the plant science pathway ambassador her junior and senior year.  Jenna’s plan after graduation is to attend Hocking College and major in Natural Resources Law Enforcement.

Parker Hickey – Summit Bridge 4-H Club
Parker Hickey, of Middletown High School, is the son of John and Beth Hickey and a member of Summit Bridge 4H Club. Parker started as a Clover Bud at age 5 and has enjoyed many 4H activities. Parker has served as Treasurer, Vice President and President of his club. Parker has participated in State Teen Weekend, Cow Camp, and the Health Living Conference. He was camp counselor for NCCO day camp and Cow Camp. He has competed in many activities including dairy judging, dairy showmanship, archery and the poultry bowl. Parker has many fond memories of Camp Barnes while at 4H State Camp and being part of the Bear family. He enjoyed the NCCO Hunt Club and the many hunting and safety classes he participated in. He was chosen as the 2019 State Representative for the 4H National Dairy Conference during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Parker is an active member of the MHS FFA and St Paul’s Youth Group. Parker will be attending Delaware Technical and Community College in the Fall pursuing a career in Criminal Justice with a goal of entering the military in the future.

Brynn Hovatter – Cypress Heart & Hands 4-H Club
Some highlights from my 4H experience have to be the various camps and community service projects. Being able to lead a group, teach classes, and learning more about how to interact with others has taught me more than I could ever say. Although I was supposed to be teaching them, the campers and fellow 4-H members were really teaching me. The leadership and service opportunities, as well as introducing me to everlasting friendships has been such a pleasure and I hope to continue that in college in the collegiate 4-H program at the University of Delaware!

Abby Krams – Sunset Branch 4-H Club
Abby Krams began 4-H in 2009 as a Cloverbud with Stateline 4-H Club. Since then she has been a member of Cypress Hearts & Hands as well as Treasurer (17′-18′) and President (18′-Present) of Sunset Branch 4-H club. Abby has focused mostly on Foods & Nutrition, Leadership, Performing Arts, and Clothing & Textiles during the last 12 years. Her favorite 4-H memories are all at State Camp where she is in the Bear people group and is serving her second Voice year this summer. Outside of 4-H, Abby will be attending Nazareth College for Music Therapy with a Voice primary in the fall. In her free time, you’d find her dancing with Sussex Dance Academy, singing with various choirs around the state, and performing with her school drama club. She feels very blessed to have gained so many life skills, friendships, and memories from Delaware 4-H and will cherish them as she moves into the next chapter of her life.

Elizabeth Krams – Sunset Branch 4-H Club
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Krams started 4-H at Stateline 4-H club in 2009 as a Cloverbud.  Over the next 10 years, she participated in Cypress Hearts and Hands and Sunset Branch Clubs and held offices of Reporter, Treasurer and President.  Projects included Foods & Nutrition, Clothing, and Performing Arts.  Her favorite activity was Favorite Foods. Lizzy also attended State 4-H Camp for 3 summers as a Moon and Stars.

Lizzy will be graduating from Sussex Technical High School and plans to attend college  to study Speech Language Pathology in the fall.  While at Sussex Tech, Lizzy loved being on the dance team and was a captain her Junior and Senior years.  She also danced at Sussex Dance Academy for 10 years participating in many dance competitions and their Nutcracker production each year.

Faith Marvel -Vernon Creek 4-H Club

Faith Marvel is a graduating senior of Greenwood Mennonite School. She has enjoyed her role as the GMS class president for the Class of 2021, as well as serving as the Vernon Creek 4-H Club Secretary. Faith has also been actively involved in her school band throughout her middle school and high school years, taking part in the percussion section, specifically the timpani. Showing her creative side, Faith is a part of the GMS yearbook staff, working with teachers and students alike to create a yearbook that represents all that her school stands for.  Faith is happy for the friends she has made, pleased with the academic accomplishments she has achieved over the years, and looks forward to what the future holds in store for her.

Joshua Menard – Peach Blossom 4-H Club
Joshua Menard, has been a member of the Peach Blossom 4-H club for 14 years. Where he has held the offices of photographer, historian and treasurer. Joshua was involved in a variety of 4-H projects; Pygmy Goats, Dairy lease program, Sheep, Citizenship, Leadership and Archery. At Lake Forest High School he is a member of the FFA, Cross Country Team and National Honor Society. Joshua raises and breeds a Tunis sheep flock in Harrington and shows them at the Delaware State Fair. In the Fall, he will be attending Mississippi State University to study poultry science.

Caleb Murphy – Vernon Creek 4-H Club

Caleb has been a part of Vernon Creek since their first meeting. Caleb has been President and Jr. Advisor these last few years. In 2018, Caleb won the 4-H Jr Division lawn tractor driving contest, one that he has been competing in since he was old enough. Caleb has been showing goats at the DSF as a 4-H member since he was 9 years old.

Caleb also is currently serving as the Lake Forest High School FFA president. He works part time at Hoobers in Seaford. Caleb and his brother, Cole have their SAE project which is C and M Custom baling. Caleb is enrolled at Del Tech in the fall, majoring in Ag Business.

Sydney Pyle – Porter Gang 4-H Club
Sydney Pyle is a senior at William Penn High School where shes majors in Visual Performing arts with a specification in Vocal Music. She has been involved in the School Choir, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Select Ensemble, Color Guard, and theater group (Penn Players).

Sydney is the President of the Porter Gang 4-H club, a member of C-3 and the New Castle County Junior Council.  Her projects in 4-H are Foods and Nutrition, Leadership, and Visual performing arts.  Sydney’s favorite things about 4-H are Favorite Foods, State Camp (She is a Moon and Star) and being a camp counselor for both Environmental and Day Camp. After high school, Sydney will attend the University of Delaware and major in Early Childhood Education. However, she intends to create her own pathway to be qualified to become a Music Therapist as she believes in the power of music want to use her passion for music to help others.

Avery Ruebush- MeadoLarks 4-H Club

Avery joined 4-H later in the game, connecting with Janice and Richard Melson’s Meado-Larks Club in spring of her freshman year at the Charter School of Wilmington.  The transition to high school was a challenging one that exacerbated her anxiety and depression.  After visiting cousins who had chickens, she wanted to try raising some, which led her to 4-H.  While she did not end up getting any chickens, 4-H has provided Avery with a lot of opportunities to meet people, learn new skills, and gain confidence.

The Melsons do a wonderful job of finding ways for the members to serve their community.  Avery has prepared, served, and shared meals with Andrew’s Place.  She helped with yard cleanup, picnic table assembly, and Food Bank fundraising at Skyline Church.  Avery loves interacting with younger children in her Meado-Larks 4-H Club and enjoyed being a counselor for Cloverbud summer day camp.  She also worked with pre-Cloverbud siblings at an Ozobots activity.  These experiences prepared her for whatever comes next.  This summer, she will be working with Americorps’ Summer Literacy Program.  Avery will start college this fall with the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts Program and as part of their Community Engagement Scholars Course of Study.

Rylee Ridgely – Ponies & Pintails 4-H Club

Rylee M. Ridgely is a 2021 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School. She has been accepted and plans to attend Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK this fall. Rylee is going to major in Agriculture Business and plans to specialize in the cattle industry.  Rylee stays busy caring for and showing her livestock; goats, swine and steers; as well as showing her horse. Rylee works part time at Haas Butcher Shop and babysits 20 hours per week. Her passion is truly in the ag industry and she can’t wait to dive into everything Oklahoma has to offer.

Kathryn Rohlfing – Clover Knights 4-H Club
Kathryn Rohlfing is a Senior High School Student at Liberty University On-line Academy. She completed until her Sr. year at Sussex Technical High School where she was in the Academic Challenge Program, held offices of class Secretary, Treasurer and President, participated in band in her Freshman and Sophomore years, competing in the Peach Bowl her Sophomore year. She was chosen for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and chosen by her Technical Pathway, Criminal Justice to compete in the state Forensic competition. Kate was track manager in her Sophomore and Junior years. She was on prom committee, participated in Fellowship for Christian Athletes and in math League as well as in assisting with the AM coffee program at the school. Kate has been accepted as an Undergraduate Accounting student at Liberty University with future plans to attend Law School. At time of graduation she will have completed 32 college credits towards her Accounting Degree.

Kates 5 years in 4-H have provided her with many leadership opportunities such as summer day camp counselor, Treasurer of Clover Knights, talent show competitions at the fair and organizing her clubs Fall/Spring Flower fundraiser for the past 3 years and she is working towards her Diamond Clover Award. Kate’s regularly participates in youth group at her church, enjoys playing piano and has a non-profit coffee ministry for the homeless Kate’s Kups.

Evan Short- Rossakatum 4-H Club
Evan Short is a senior at Laurel Senior High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society, President of the Laurel FFA chapter and takes honors classes. Evan takes pride in his perfect attendance and has been selected student of the month several times. He placed eighth in the state of Delaware during the 31st Annual Driver Education Competition at Dover Inter national Speedway. Evan has owned and operated his produce business (Little Farmer Evan’s Produce) since he was 8 years old. He has currently expanded his produce business by opening another stand in Laurel. While running his own business, Evan has also worked part time at the Laurel Community Hardware store for two years. Evan was accepted to Clemson University to study Agribusiness.

Evan has been a dedicated member of the Rossakatum 4-H club for 8 years. As a Rossakatum 4-H club member, he has served as President, Vice President, Treasurer and on many committees. He is a Moon and Star at State 4-H camp. In 2019, Evan won 1st place in the Senior Division at the Sussex County 4-H Favorite Foods contest with his version of Slow Cooker Venison Roast with Carrots and Red Skinned Potatoes. Evan has entered a great amount of 1st place blue ribbon garden entries at the Delaware State Fair. He also placed 6th in the Horticulture judging contest at the Delaware State Fair. Evan is very proud of the many trophies the Rossakatum 4-H club has received over the years for “Best Youth Group” in Christmas parades. When it came to the Sussex County 4-H Spaghetti dinner/Auction fundraiser, Evan sold the most ads and auction items because he wanted to see the fundraiser succeed. Even though Evan’s 4-H years are coming to an end, he will always have much gratitude for this organization and the leaders that have taught him the life skills he will need in the future.

Cole Simpson – MeadoLarks 4-H Club

Cole Simpson followed in the footsteps of his parents and started his 4-H adventures in 2013.  He is part of the MeadoLarks 4-H club which his Dad and uncles were members back in the 1980’s.  His first success came with the Foods & Nutrition project where he won his first Favorite Foods competition with snickerdoodle cookies.   He has attended First Week of State 4-H Camp since 2014 and is a member of the Thunderbirds.  Making lasting friendships and enjoying the teamwork it takes to have a great week are his favorite parts of camp and will be missed as he graduates.  The community service and leadership activities that have come at the club, county and state levels have helped him grow personally and built his confidence to move on to college.

Cole’s most significant 4-H accomplishment has as a member of the Tech Team developing the availability of computer science and other STEM activities in Delaware.  It was sparked by his personal interest in building and programming robots with his Lego Mindstorms kit. Traveling to Utah and Washington DC to attend national events to learn more about designing a program and developing workshops focused on the fundamentals of coding and design have been his primary project focus for the last 3 years.  Along with attending a STEM focused high school, it has been extremely influential in his decision to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering and robotics.  He hopes that other 4-Hers will use these programs to learn more about computer science and technology and reduce the intimidation factor that keeps kids from exploring these areas.

 

Emma Sparpaglione – Clover Knights 4-H Club
Emma Sparpaglione will graduate from Sussex Academy this spring. She has enjoyed participating in theater throughout her time at SA, including being assistant stage manager last year and stage manager this year. She also participated in swimming, band, and TSA. She will be going to State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse this fall. She plans on studying environmental biology.

Emma has absolutely loved her time in 4-H. She is so thankful for all of the skills she learned. Some of her favorite experiences have been volunteering at the different summer camps and being president of the Clover Knights. She was excited to get the opportunity to attend two STEM Summits in Washington DC. She made wonderful friends on the exchange trip to Montana. Being an active 4-H’er has truly shaped who she is and what she wants to study in college.

Layne Smith – Milford 4-H Club
Layne Smith is an active member of the Milford 4-H Club. He joined 4-H as a Cloverbud when he was 5 years old. During his years in the Milford 4-H Club he held the offices of safety chairman, treasurer, Vice President and most recently President. Layne’s project areas included archery, foods and nutrition and leadership. The 4-H events Layne enjoyed the most were the county and state archery contests, the favorite Foods Contest, and the Delaware State Fair. In the fall, Layne plans to attend Del Tech where he will major in criminal justice. Layne aspires to be a game warden and he will continue to “Make the best better.”

Matthew Trunfio – Stump Corner 4-H Club
Matthew S. Trunfio will graduate from Middletown High School June 5, 2021.

He is a proud New Castle County 4-H’er where he is a member of the Stump Corner 4-H Club, President of NCC Jr Council, Secretary of NCC C3, and a member of the NCC 4-H Exchange.  He is the Social Media Officer on State Teen Council.  Matthew was chosen to attend the National STEM Summit in 2019, and National 4-H Congress, and National 4-H Conference in 2020.  He has attended State 4-H Camp for 7 years, is proud member of the Turtle people group and will serve as Echo again this summer.  Matthew has served as a Day, Environmental, and Younger Member camp counselor and loves working with the younger members.  His favorite thing about 4-H is meeting and getting to know people from up and down the state and across the country.  Matthew has not decided where he will continue his education, but he will be majoring in Environmental Studies wherever he chooses to attend.

Madison Tulloch – Ponies & Pintails 4-H Club

Madison is a senior at Caesar Rodney High School.  She is actively involved in both 4-H and FFA.  Prior to Covid, Madison enjoyed attending FFA competitions with her friends in the Caesar Rodney FFA.  Madison’s interests include trail riding and barrel racing with her two horses,  Sassy and Chevy.  She also enjoys playing with her miniature horse, Nashville.  Her plans after graduation include attending Polytech Adult Education Equine Vet program.

Reagan Walter – Midstate 4-H Club
Raegan Walter is a 10 year member of Midstate 4-H club in Kent County. She has held offices of secretary, treasurer, Vice-President and President.  Her favorite 4-H activities are community service, state camp, state fair, and showing her market goats at the fair.

Raegan enlisted in October as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy and ships out for boot camp, at her insistence, AFTER the fair, August 4th. Raegan is graduating from Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville, Maryland where she completed the Biomed pathway.

 

Delaware 4-H Receives Children’s Books from the Molina Foundation

The Delaware 4-H Program was selected to receive a grant of 7,000 new children’s books to help the families we serve create word-filled homes and promote reading and learning.

The donation was from The Molina Foundation as part of its 7,000-book Books Across Delaware literacy campaign, in collaboration with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

“We feel extremely honored and very much appreciate this gift,” said Doug Crouse, State 4-H Program Leader. “We care about supporting the success of children and families who we serve. Literacy is the key to progress for our community.”

The goal of the Books Across Delaware campaign is to provide resources to help children, parents, and caregivers create word-filled homes through reading and learning together. The initiative is designed to promote back-to-school learning and help combat the “summer slide” where students lose academic ground over the break.

The Molina Foundation, a national nonprofit organization in Long Beach, CA, is dedicated to the mission of reducing disparities in access to education and health.  To learn more about The Molina Foundation, visit their website: www.molinafoundation.org or follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@molinagiving), or Instagram (@molina_foundation).

4-Her’s in the NEWS!

Colleen Murray named “STEM Innovator of the Year”

Colleen Murray
Congratulations to New Castle County 4-Her, Colleen Murray, for being named 2015 STEM Youth Innovator of the Year by National 4-H Council. Colleen received this prestigious award for her efforts within the area of STEM and her commitment to educating local youth about the importance of STEM education. In addition to a $500 scholarship, Colleen was also awarded an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to assist with the 4-H National Youth Science DayA special thank you to the sponsors of this award: National 4-H Council and HughesNet.

To find out more about Colleen’s achievement, please read the articles from UDaily or Delaware Online .

National 4-H Dairy Conference

4-H‘er Spring Vasey of the Country Time 4-H Club in Kent County is currently attending the National 4-H Dairy Conference on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin. While there, Spring is participating in dairy science workshops and field trips along with approximately 200 other dairy project members from across the United States and Canada. Exploration of dairy related careers, dairy production, marketing, genetics and production and processing of dairy products are a few of the subjects they will be exposed to. In addition, she will also have the opportunity to spend a day at the World Dairy Expo. Spring is being chaperoned by 4-H volunteer Jody Vasey of Kent County. Special thanks to the Delaware 4-H Foundation for funding this leadership and dairy science experience for our 4-H members! If you are interested in attending National 4-H Dairy Conference next year and have three years of dairy project experience, applications will be due May 1, 2016.