COLLEGE STATION – The Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation has awarded more than $2.2 million dollars in scholarships to more than 200 4-H members from throughout the state at this year’s Texas 4-H Roundup in College Station.
Scholarship funds were provided by organizations and individuals across the state to help 4-H members attend the college or other institute of higher learning of their choosing, said Texas 4-H foundation officials.
“The Foundation strives to make getting an education easier for our young people,” said Marcus Hill, 4-H Foundation board president. “We want to give 4-H’ers the confidence to go forth and get an education and to support them from the business world.”
Jim Reeves, executive director of the Texas 4-H Foundation, said this year’s scholarships were funded by about 50 organizational and individual donors.
“The 4-H scholarship endeavor began in 1959 with one $1,000 scholarship donated by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” Reeves said. “So it’s not surprising that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continues to be the largest donor organization among the current 48 scholarship donors comprising the 4-H Foundation’s educational support.”
Reeves said for 2013 the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will be providing 70 scholarships of $18,000 each.
“This year’s second-largest organizational donor is the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and rodeo with 13 scholarships of $20,000 each and 12 scholarships of $1,000 each, he added.
The largest individual scholarship donor was Richard Wallrath, who provided 35 scholarships of $10,000 each.
Reeves said this year will conclude his 41-year career involving youth leadership development.
“I must say that the thrill I have received as director of the 4-H Foundation is the absolute highlight of that lengthy and highly rewarding career,” he said. “One of my favorite activities each year is spending some personal time visiting with every individual 4-H’er receiving one of our scholarships.
“Every recipient this year will inspire pride in our donors due to the fact that these donors play a role in assisting these amazing young people reach their educational goals. These young people also increase my own confidence in the future strength and stability of our state and nation through the potential influence these young men and women will have on their own generation and the future.”
This year’s 4-H Roundup is hosting more than 4,000 participants from June 11-14 on the campus of Texas A&M University. 4-H is the youth program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“4-H Roundup is Texas 4-H’s premiere leadership event of the year,” said Kyle Merten, AgriLife Extension 4-H and youth development specialist, College Station.
For the past 65 years, contests have been held throughout the counties in each of the 12 AgriLife Extension districts. Winners in about 50 competitive events advance to the state roundup.
Youth who attend this event are able to learn leadership skills, team building, citizenship development and competition skills as well as get the opportunity to network with other youth, Merten said.