The 2021 Ohio 4-H Teen Hall of Fame and Teen of the Year recipients were recognized at the Ohio 4-H Conference. At the teen luncheon, with nearly 350 guests, awardees were congratulated by Dr. Jackie Kirby Wilkins, CFAES associate dean and director of Ohio State University Extension. These awards are generously sponsored by Tim and Karen Corcoran.
Teen of the Year
Matthew Swearingen, Adams County
A young man who is respected by his peers, Matthew set a high standard for his commitment to learning by doing, leading by example, and being inclusive to all. His leadership, mentorship, and service are recognized in Adams County, Ohio, and nationwide. Matthew was on the youth leadership team for the National 4-H Conference, was nominated to the Ohio Attorney General’s Teen Advisory Board, and was secretary for the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council. He is committed, detail-oriented, and attentive. Matthew’s dedication to the 4-H program, his eagerness to experience every opportunity, and his willingness to share his story with other 4-H’ers make him a highly deserving Ohio 4-H Teen of the Year!
Teen Hall of Fame
Elizabeth Fannin, Jackson County
As a champion for 4-H, Elizabeth is an outstanding young lady who holds herself to high standards and gives 100% to all she does. Her contributions to the Jackson County 4-H program, including her project work, teen leadership, and as the Jackson County Fair Queen, made a significant impact. Elizabeth is outgoing, compassionate, and well-spoken. She lights up when she is working with children and is an excellent role model for younger 4-H members. Her strong will and dedication come through in all aspects of her work. She shares ideas freely and dedicates the time and effort needed to achieve results. Elizabeth lives the 4-H motto of “Making the best better” each and every year.
Avalon Havan, Pickaway County
A dedicated Ohio 4-H member who has continued to learn and grow through her 4-H career, Avalon’s project interests range from healthy living to communication to creative arts. She uses her strengths and skills to give back to 4-H in a variety of ways. She served as a Health Hero, a Teen Leadership Council member, and a teen representative to the Ohio 4-H Foundation. When Avalon’s name is associated with a project, it is certain the program will be completed to the best of her ability. She is a team leader who shares her energy and has a caring demeanor with all. Her efforts in Pickaway County 4-H and Ohio 4-H are recognized by the many youth, volunteers, and adults who have worked with her over the years.
Sara Newsome, Highland County
As president of the Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council, Sara focuses her efforts on providing leadership to other teen 4-H members. She developed programs for peer-led training and has influenced the positive presence Ohio 4-H teens have throughout the state and country. Sara has a can-do attitude that sparks enthusiasm and involvement among others. Her detailed organizational skills and professionalism serve as a great role model for those around her. As a teen representative on the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board, she advocates for all Ohio 4-H members. Ohio 4-H is better thanks to Sara’s enthusiasm, drive, and leadership.
Meredith Robinson, Ross County
By bringing the 4-H pledge to life, Meredith has empowered both herself and others. In pursuing project work, camp, and Junior Fair Board with her whole heart, Meredith uses her head to develop goals and inspire confidence, inclusivity, and leadership. She uses her hands in service as a camp counselor and CARTEENS member and on the 4-H Advisory Committee and Ohio 4-H Teen Leadership Council. Meredith has championed personal wellness by promoting mental health and self-care, while finding balance between 4-H and other activities. She works to the make the best better by encouraging others to engage and succeed.