Hamilton County
Junior High Student Receives
President’s Volunteer Service Award

(l-r) Kate with University of Illinois Extension Staff Melissa Wilson, Youth Development Educator, Connie Beck, County Extension Director, Kate Miller and Paula Hatfield 4-H Extension Program Coordinator Photo submitted

Kate Miller, 14, of Macedonia, a member of the County Line Crew 4-H Club, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their county, was granted the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The University of Illinois Extension –Hamilton County nominated Kate for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service. Kate organized an Illini Fighting Hunger Food Packaging Event which was held October 1, 2016. When asked about her project Kate responded “I first learned about Illini Fighting Hunger when I went to Junior High Leadership Conference last February. As I participated in this project, I felt moved to organize an event in my county. I never realized how many people go hungry each day. It seems that hunger and malnutrition can be overlooked because, we sometimes get caught up in life. I asked myself, can a teenager organize and event like this? When I returned from the conference I began working with the Hamilton County Extension office and Bill Million for the state 4-H office to plan this event. For the next six months, I was busy planning! My motto after planning this successful event is that you are never too young to make a huge difference!”

4-H Officer
Kate currently serves as the Treasurer of the Hamilton County 4-H Federation, the youth representative of the Hamilton County 4-H and Extension Foundation and Vice President of the County Line Crew 4-H Club. She also serves as a Teen Teacher during summer classes, card class and sewing class. She has attended several state 4-H conferences including Discover Chicago and Junior Leadership Conference.
Last year Kate took up upon herself to plan an Illini Fighting Hunger Food Packaging Event. She was able to raise $2,300. With the help of 85 volunteers they packaged 21, 282 meals that were distributed in Hamilton and surrounding counties.
Caring Volunteer
Paula Hatfield, Extension Program Coordinator, states “ Kate is a very caring and compassionate young lady who has a heart of gold. She takes her volunteerism very seriously and is an asset to the Hamilton County 4-H program. She has taken the lead on organizing two Illini Fighting Hunger Food Packaging Events, which is no easy task, even for an adult. Her compassion for others is evident in her continued efforts to collect funds, recruit volunteers and locate distribution sites for the thousands of meals packaged. When she is not planning a food packaging event she stays busy helping out in the office, planning county 4-H activities and participating in various community service projects.”
Civic Responsibility
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the national Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.
“These recipients of these awards demonstrate the young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”
Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life, “said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “these honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”
National Award
Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates. These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging. In addition to granting President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorss, Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.
To learn more about 4-H and volunteer opportunities in our community, contact the University of Illinois Extension office at 643-3416.
About 4-H: Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.