University of Maryland Extension

4-H Gala a 'Night to Shine'

From left to right: Dean Craig Beyrouty, Dr., Nia Fields, and Dr. Jim Hanson
Image Credit: 
Edwin Remsburg Studios

Each year, the Maryland 4-H Gala brings together members, volunteers and professionals to recognize positive youth development throughout the state. The event, a partnership between the Maryland 4-H Foundation and the Maryland 4-H Program, was held at Martin’s West in Baltimore on Jan. 19, 2020.

“From my earliest years as a 4-Her, I remember learning so many valuable lessons that I have carried throughout my life,” said Martha Clark, Maryland 4-H Foundation Board president, who spoke to over 450 guests about how the new decade will usher in new opportunities and new programs for 4-Hers in Maryland. “I credit 4-H as a driving force in my life; it gave me the tools and confidence to accept the unique challenges and opportunities presented to me.”

Dr. Nia Imani Fields, new assistant director and program leader, and Maryland’s Head Keeper of the Clover, addressed families, colleagues and volunteers at the gala, which was developed with the theme “A Night to Shine,” about her vision for the future. 

“Over the next coming years, we will continue to strengthen our brand so that when anyone sees the clover in our state, they will know it means new experiences for youth, hands-on learning, and a network of support that follows you no matter where you end up in this country,” said Fields.

Volunteers and 4-H members were honored for their service in 2019 and awards included Maryland 4-H Volunteer Awards, Emerald Clovers, Diamond Clovers and State Animal Science Project Record Keeping Awards. Youth and volunteers were also recognized for inbound and outbound international travel, representing Maryland 4-H as a member of a state team or delegation on the National level. Awards and scholarships were presented by Fields and Clark, as well as Dr. Craig Beyrouty, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Dr. Jim Hanson, associate dean/associate director of Extension; W. Drew Stabler, Foundation vice president; Mrs. Susan Behrens, Foundation secretary; Mrs. Gail Yeiser, Foundation treasurer; and Jessica O’Sullivan, executive director Maryland Agricultural Fair Board.

“As we start a new decade on this ‘Night to Shine’ I challenge each of us to remember, and think about the great things that 4-H has done for you, your children, grandchildren and the many families we have met while building lifelong relationships,” said Clark. “Share your experiences, become a mentor, volunteer, make a financial donation, and let us continue to support decades and generations of 4-H youth in the future.”

Watch the NBC production on 4-H.

The Maryland 4-H Program is a partnership between families, volunteers, sponsors, and donors who work with 4-H faculty and staff in all 23 counties and Baltimore city and at the Maryland 4-H Center, the heart of the Maryland 4-H Program. For more information on 4-H, go to https://extension.umd.edu/4-h.

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