University of Maryland Extension

National 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Laureates Announced

Kendra Wells
Kendra Wells

Sixteen individuals will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame during a special ceremony to be held on Friday, October 2, 2020 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The National 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Laureates, who will be honored for excellence in citizenship, leadership, character and career accomplishments, includes Kendra Wells of the Maryland 4-H team.

Kendra started her professional Extension career in Montgomery County as the 4-H Educator where she inspired youth and developed innovative programs to extend the reach of 4-H and highlight the breadth of 4-H opportunities. Her career focus was outreach and expansion of high quality, positive youth development programs to meet the needs of children, youth, families, and communities. Throughout her career, Kendra modeled engagement of the intended audience and much of her work was grounded in the belief that youth, volunteers, and communities possess the knowledge and leadership skills to create the programs and opportunities that meet their interests and needs.

Kendra’s work and dedication led to a number of years of service at the Maryland 4-H state office as the Extension Specialist for Youth Development, a role that allowed her to mentor junior and peer faculty and staff. This role also allowed her to instill higher-level leadership skills through the Maryland 4-H Teen Council and provide leadership development opportunities through the Maryland 4-H Teen Focus. She has also served as a career-long mentor to Maryland 4-H’s current program leader, Dr. Nia Imani Fields.

As an Extension Specialist, Kendra wore many hats and assumed many roles for the state. She has also made an international impact by serving as the state 4-H Military Liaison with responsibility for coordinating all aspects of outreach to youth in active duty, guard, and reserve military families in Maryland and with Army and Navy youth development programs in Europe. She was the Principle Investigator of Maryland’s Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Project for 10 years and provided leadership for the development of afterschool programs. Kendra served as interim State 4-H Program Leader after the retirement of Dr. Richard Byrne and was instrumental in the future strategic vision of the state and national 4-H program. She served on national committees focused on strengthening and expanding 4-H programs and models, including National 4-H Strategic Planning and the National Experiential Learning Design Team. Kendra was also a member of the NAE4-HA 4-H PRKC team that developed the first update to the PRKC model. This model is still used today to help propel the quality of 4-H professionals forward.

Each laureate was selected for the National 4-H Hall of Fame because of his or her significant contribution to 4-H, the nation’s premier youth development organization that serves over six million youth nationwide. 4-H programs in every state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia as well as 4-H's three national partners - National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP); National 4-H Council and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA, nominate outstanding individuals for this honor. 

The National 4-H Hall of Fame was created in 2002 as a 4-H Centennial project to recognize and celebrate those people who have made a significant impact on 4-H and its millions of members for over 100 years. 


“These individuals have touched the lives of many people, from 4-H staff and colleagues to thousands of 4-H volunteers and members throughout the nation," said Jeannette Rea Keywood, Chair of the National 4-H Hall of Fame. 

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About the National 4-H Hall of Fame
In 2002, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA), National 4-H Council and National 4-H Headquarters at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA created the National 4-H Hall of Fame during 4-H’s centennial year. The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established to recognize 4-H volunteers, financial supporters, staff and pioneers who made major impacts within the 4-H movement at the local, state and national levels. Biographies and more information about inductees can be found on the National 4-H Hall of Fame website at http://www.4-h-hof.com/.

About the 4-H Youth Development Program
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America annually with research based programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. For over 100 years, 4-H has connected the science, engineering and technology innovations of land-grant universities to local youth and families. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides programmatic leadership for the 4-H Youth Development Program. 4-H programs are offered in every county in the United States. For more information about 4-H, visit the national 4-H website at http://www.4-h.org.  

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