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Three 4-Hers earn national award

Melissa Brown (Cloverdale), Carolyn McCormack (Happy Hillside) and Dannon Yliniemi (Northern Lights) have been awarded the American Youth Foundation's National Leadership Award in recognition of personal integrity, balanced living and potential for leadership. The honor was presented by the Becker County 4-H Council at their award ceremonies held in Detroit Lakes on Nov. 22.

The National Leadership Award is presented each year by the American Youth Foundation (AYF) in cooperation with principals, counselors, county 4-H agents, church groups and other organizations across the country.

The award was first offered in 1941 by the late William H. Danforth, founder of the Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis, who challenged young people to achieve their highest potential and to influence others through lives of service. 

The award is inspired by the book, I Dare You! written by Danforth, in which he commends the balanced life of mental, physical, social and spiritual development as the backbone of leadership.

In addition to a certificate of recognition each recipient received a copy of Danforth's inspirational book and an opportunity to apply for the "I Dare You" scholarship, which can be applied to the cost of the AYF's National Leadership Conference located in Michigan.

Over 7,000 schools, 4-H Programs and other youth servicing organizations take part in this National Leadership Award program yearly.

Through summer camps (grades 4-12), Leadership conference, and group and adult programs, AYF inspires people to discover and develop their personal best.

For more information about the National Leadership Award and the AYF, visit or call 314-963-1321. For further information, please contact Becker Co. 4-H Office, Attn: Mickey Okeson, 218-486-7328.