Salute To Excellence Volunteer Recognition
Each year, the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program provides awards and recognition for various individuals and groups that provide support to the 4-H program. All awards are presented at the Salute to Excellence ceremony at Texas 4-H Roundup in College Station, Texas.
National Leadership Award
The National Leadership Award (NLA) was created to acknowledge unique and distinguished young people in the community that have leadership potential. The American Youth Foundation partners up with schools, businesses, and many different types of groups and organizations to find and recognize these individuals. Award recipients must be in the 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. They should show leadership potential, strive to be their best, and make a positive difference in their communities. The award packet includes a personalized Award Certificate, a copy of I Dare You!, William H. Danforth’s classic motivational book, and an invitation to the National Leadership Conference at one of AYF’s camp sites in Michigan or New Hampshire. More information about the American Youth Foundation and the National Leadership Award is available at the American Youth Foundation webpage at ayf.com.
Introduction and History of the Gold Star:
The Gold Star Award is the highest achievement award given by the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program through the county 4-H Program. The Texas 4-H Gold Star Award can only be awarded once in a member’s 4-H career.
The presentation of the Gold Star Pin begun in 1933, the first year Mr. E.C. Martin was Boys 4-H Club Specialist. Mr. Martin tells us the pin was prompted by an effort to recognize the people who did the work rather than the agents. Previous to this time, the agents submitting the largest number of 4-H records received the recognition.
Records in the Extension Fiscal office indicates that the first Gold Star Pins were purchased in 1933. For the first several years the Gold Star Pins were presented at a dinner during Short Course at College Station. In the beginning each county made a nomination of their outstanding 4-H member and 100 members were selected to receive the award. After several years, the awards were presented to the outstanding 4-H boy and 4-H girl in each county.
Requirements for the Texas 4-H Gold Star
As the highest award given by the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program, County Offices and Agents are ask to maintain a high level of integrity and honor through their selection process of county Gold Star recipients. At the MINIMUM, the following guidelines should be used in the eligibility and selection process for each county:
- The member must have at least completed, or be completing their 9th grade school year at the time of application, and must have completed at least 3 years in 4-H, including the current year.
- The Texas 4-H Gold Star Award can only be awarded once in a member’s 4-H career.
- The 4-H member must have completed projects in at least three different project areas, submitted appropriate record forms, and have participated in one or more activities in at least three of the following areas:
- Projects and/or Project Exhibits
- Participation in Leadership Experiences such as Leadership Labs, Texas 4-H Congress, or National Leadership Events such as National 4-H Congress/Conference, and any county, district, or state leadership group.
- Competitive Events (judging, educational presentation, public speaking, food show, quiz bowls, etc ).
- Citizenship activities
- Camps at the county, district, or state level.
- 4-H Promotion (speeches, poster displays, radio, TV, newspapers)
- Other (includes exchange programs, fund raising)
Note: The requirements for projects and activities do not all have to be completed in the current year. They may have been accomplished over the entire period of time the person has been in the program.
- The member must have exhibited leadership skills by serving as a 4-H officer or committee chair (club, county, district or state), and/or as a junior or teen leader in an activity or project with or under the supervision of an adult volunteer leader.
- The 4-H member must have participated in one or more community service activities. Examples include providing leadership to a One Day 4-H project, working with or counseling junior 4-H members; participating in community service projects (individual, group or club); and motivating other 4-H members through participation in demonstrations, projects and/or exhibits.
- The 4-H member MUST SUBMIT A TEXAS 4-H RECORDBOOK in the year they are to be considered for the award.
Contact the local county extension office for more information.
Gloria Barron Prize For Young Heroes
This award honors young people ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. The annual application cycle opens in early January with an expected submission by mid April. Applications are only accepted when submitted electronically. Applications and additional information can be found at barronprize.org.
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. The program is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. Young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday.
Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning this award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace – on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals after registering for the program.
More information can be obtained at congressionalaward.org.