Area 4-Hers earn scholarships at state event

By Chrissy Karrer | Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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Jodie Wells, Wise County 4-Her from Greenwood, was awarded a 2012 Texas 4-H Opportunity Scholarship (sponsored by Richard Walrath) and a Texas Association of Extension Education Scholarship.

The 4-H scholarship was one of 251 totaling over $2 million awarded by the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation during the 2012 Opportunity Awards Ceremony June 11 in United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

The scholarship recipients were selected from 361 who applied, said Jim Reeves, executive director of the foundation, which is the organization responsible for coordinating the program and for resource development for the Texas 4-H program. He said the scholarship application process began in January.

The foundation’s scholarship program has 50 donors including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, and the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show along with the Richard Wallrath Educational Foundation, individuals, corporations, foundations, producer associations, Texas AgriLife Extension Service professional associations, individual honorary funds and individual bequests.

Reeves said the donors share the foundation’s vision of investing in the future of Texas youth by helping them pursue an education, which in turn, should eventually benefit their communities, state, country and world.

The scholarships range from $1,000 to $16,000. Jodie received a total of $11,000.

“Scholarships are provided to assist 4-H members who will attend universities and colleges throughout the state,” Reeves said. “The scholarship program is a celebration of achievement for 4-H members across Texas. It recognizes the development of qualities inherent to the Texas 4-H program – personal responsibility, civic responsibility and leadership.

“The program rewards hard work and dedication of young people involved in 4-H.”

The Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation Opportunity Scholarship Program is the nation’s largest 4-H scholarship program. It began as a single $1,000 scholarship given by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1959.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program was a highlight of the 2012 Texas 4-H Roundup which was held June 11-14 at Texas Tech. This was the first time in its 65 year history that the Texas 4-H Roundup was held at a location other than College Station.

The Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose members promote and support youth development in leadership, vocational skills, social skills and citizenship. The foundation’s board is a diverse group of 41 trustees who share a common passion for improving the lives of Texas youth. Trustees work to secure private funding to support scholarships and programs for Texas 4-H youth.

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