County Youth Development Educator wins 4-H award

PLATTE COUNTY – Platte County 4-H Youth Development Educator Stacy Buchholz received the Wyoming Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals Communicator Award for a news story she submitted about 4-H Achievement Day. Hers was the only application in that category at the state level.
Service awards are presented to members meeting specific criteria. Buchholz will be awarded the Distinguished Service award at the national meeting in October. This award is an automatic winner, each state selects winners that are included in the national awards program.
The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to recognize outstanding association members who have served seven or more years in Extension youth programs.  Individuals must show evidence of overall professionalism, professional improvement during time of service, and documented accomplishments as Extension youth professionals and as a member of their state and/or national association.
The qualities and points that NAE4-HYDP recommends to be considered for the Distinguished Service award are:
• Professional Attitude:  Work with professional association, Extension committee work and responsibilities
• Professional Improvement:  Advance formal education and supplemental training (attendance at national meeting can be counted)
• Professional Accomplishments: Size and depth of program, program improvements and program innovations 
• Personal:  Community involvement, personal attitudes and interests
• Special Honors:  Professional honors and community honors
Buchholz is originally from Potter, Neb., and graduated from UW with both an undergrad and graduate degree.  She started with UW Extension in Weston County as the 4-H Educator in 2012. In 2018 she transferred to Platte County and serves as the 4-H/Youth Development Educator for Platte County.
“I chose a career in 4-H Youth Development because I really had a wonderful experience in 4-H as a child and enjoy the agricultural roots of the program even though it encompasses project areas from Art, Science, Natural Resources and more,” Buchholz said. “I think the beauty of 4-H is that is has such a wide reach; members can find that thing that sparks their interest and then cultivate that learning with the guidance of a caring adult partnership.”
She also mentioned there could be many goals, but ultimately, she hopes they are reaching members, have a caring and giving leadership group, and providing as many opportunities for youth as possible.
“Personally, I would like to have started a doctorate program, watch my son and daughter get their start as Cloverbuds in 4-H, and find a way to be a bit more involved in the community outside of my job. It’s really hard to accomplish that now with an infant and toddler,” Buchholz said.
One of the questions that Buchholz had to answer to qualify for the award was, explaining what accomplishment she was most proud of to date in her Extension career and why?
“The accomplishment I am most proud of to date in my career is building, growing and turning a stagnating 4-H camping program in Weston/Crook County into a thriving vibrant program,” she wrote.  “My first camp was rough, less than 10 teen leaders participated, with fewer than 30 members attending camp.  Leaders were mean, spiteful and unsupportive.  Over the next few years, Sara Fleenor and I worked really hard to build the camping program into something that members and teens wanted to participate in. 
“After six years, we had nearly 40 teens and over 60 campers attending annually.  With the help of over 20 adult leaders, partnerships with the Wyoming Game and Fish, other Extension Initiative Teams, and the Weston/Crook county communities, we were able to provide fun and exciting programs campers enjoyed while learning. 
“We focused on STEM, Environment and Natural Resources, Visual Arts, Healthy Living and more.  I think the thing I am most proud of with our camping program was watching members who came as campers grow into leaders and mentors through the Teen Leader programming.” 


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