Over the weekend, top 4-H youth from around the state gathered at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the annual Indiana 4-H Congress. The 4-H Congress brings together the best and brightest of Indiana’s 4-H youth for a day of leadership training and recognition. As it has for the past 6 years, Hoosier Ag Today presented the communications scholarship. This year’s winner Olivia DeWeese of Vanderburgh County typifies a 4-H participant, “I had the honor to be a 9 year member, and I really immersed myself in the leadership and teamwork skills that 4-H offers.” And, like the other several hundred Congress participants, leadership and giving back are part of her 4-H experience, “In 2012, I was crowned Miss Vanderburgh County and that was one of my favorite moments in 4-H. I got to be a role model for all the young girls, and I was the girl that everyone was looking up to, just as I had done in my earlier 4-H career.”
DeWeese says her 4-H projects helped her set the direction for her life, “4-H helped me find my strengths and weaknesses. I realized that public speaking and journalism were both strengths of mine through the projects that I participated in, and that is how I decided a choice for my career.” DeWeese is a freshman broadcast journalism major at Indiana University.
DeWeese was one of thirty-three 4-H youth who received scholarships in a variety of different categories. Some of Indiana’s top agribusinesses, as well as the Indiana 4-H Foundation, sponsored the scholarships. She told HAT that learning communication skills is vital for everyone, “I believe that communications is one of the top three skills that all leaders need to develop. You have to communicate with those around you.”
The scholarships were presented at a luncheon sponsored by CountryMark and Ice Miller LLP.