California 4-H members Bryanne Sanchez and Samuel Sugarman are winners of the 2017 national 4-H Youth in Action Awards, National 4-H Council announced today (Feb. 21).
Sanchez, of Imperial, was selected as winner of the 4-H Youth in Action Award for Healthy Living for the true leadership she has demonstrated as an advocate for healthy lifestyles in her community and across the state. In an effort to address the 62 percent obesity rate in her county, Sanchez annually hosts the Imperial County 4-H Color Me Green run. The race, which also includes a local business health fair, gave away more than 90 boxes of fresh produce to runners and their families in 2017.
Sugarman, of Encinitas, was selected as winner of the 4-H Youth in Action Award for Agriculture for his true leadership through agriculture education and his free Farm Tour Program. Sugarman created the Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature. Over the past five years, Sugarman led hundreds of farm tours, educating youth about sustainable agriculture, where food comes from, and respect for animals and the earth.
"As a teen leader, I hosted lots of project meetings at my farm and saw how beneficial it was for urban children to interact with the animals," Sugarman said. "When children grow up disconnected from their food, from animals and from the earth, they miss opportunities to develop qualities of stewardship, compassion, patience and gratitude."
As a California 4-H State Ambassador, Sanchez organized a "Text Talk Act" campaign to bring awareness to mental health issues. She also organized the educational component of the California State Leadership Conference's All 4-Health Fair, working with organizations to present about various healthy living topics.
“I believe I am a 4-H true leader because I am empowering youth throughout California to make healthy lifestyle decisions," Sanchez said. "It started with recognizing the need in my own county – a drastic 62 percent obesity rate - and developing ways to combat the problem. I recognized that I have the power to enact change by educating others, and I plan to do so for the rest of my life. I want everyone to realize there is no better time than now to start living healthy.”
Sanchez and Sugarman will each receive a $5,000 scholarship for higher education. Sanchez will serve as spokesperson for 4-H Healthy Living programming and Sugarman will serve as a spokesperson for 4-H Agriculture programming. The 2017 4-H Youth in Action Pillar for Healthy Living is sponsored by Molina Healthcare and the Pillar for Agriculture is sponsored by Bayer. They will be officially recognized at the National 4-H Council Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
Other 2017 4-H Youth in Action Pillar winners include Georgia 4-H'er Amelia Day for Citizenship and Ohio 4-H'er Ava Lonneman for STEM.
The 4-H Youth in Action Awards began in 2010 to recognize 4-H'ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community. This award highlights youth in each of 4-H's core areas of Agriculture, Citizenship, Healthy Living and STEM. These four pillars represent the fields in which 4-H youth excel on a national level and align with the mission mandates of National 4-H Council. To learn more about Youth in Action, please visit http://4-h.org/parents/4-h-youth-in-action.