By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Senior Reporter
STILLWATER – Oklahoma 4-H has recently recognized Lily Stubbs, Aiden Spencer and Sheryl Moore for their hard work supporting America’s largest youth development organization.
Having dedicated 17 years as a volunteer with the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program – 14 of which with certification – Lily Stubbs, a cornerstone of Cleveland County 4-H, was recognized as the 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year, as well as the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year at the 2021 Parent-Volunteer Conference on the Oklahoma State University (OSU) campus in Stillwater. This lifetime award is presented to a volunteer with at least 10 years of service.
Her volunteerism began with the Little Axe 4-H Cloverbuds when her now-college-age children, Joseph and Jebidiah, were young. Her volunteer work led her to become a club leader. She currently is leader of the Little Axe 4-H Club, Cleveland County Agricultural Club and the Cleveland County Archery Club.
“I volunteer because I get to make a difference, even if it’s just with one member,” Stubbs said. “My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing the kids grow from Cloverbuds to senior members and seeing the success they have in their lives.”
Delaney Cruzan, another Cleveland County 4-H’er stated, “Coming into 4-H as an older member was daunting to me as most of my peers had been in 4-H for multiple years. Ms. Lily was formative in my 4-H success from the very beginning. Her belief in me changed me for the better. She deserves to be recognized for her work and service in the 4-H program.”
Ruth Allard, the statewide 4-H shooting sports coordinator, worked with Stubbs for more than three years in her previous role as the OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development educator in Cleveland County.
“When Lily sees a need, she’s there to offer help,” Allard said. “Lily has helped keep the Cleveland Count 4-H program alive through many transitions in the Extension office, as well as a transition to a new district. She is a huge advocate of 4-H and positive youth development.”
Stubbs also is a member of the Cleveland County 4-H Foundation and president of the Parent-Volunteer Association. She serves on the 4-H Program Advisory Committee, is active on the state shooting sports committee, is a national level-2 shooting sports instructor and has served as the Cleveland County Fair 4-H superintendent. She volunteers across the state by teaching workshops and judging events such as Cupcake Wars.
“This award is very humbling. It’s just cool to be part of the 4-H organization,” Stubbs said.
An Oklahoma County 4-H’er Aiden Spencer was named the state record book winner in the leadership project during the Centennial State 4-H Roundup that took place recently on the OSU campus. Spencer brought home a share of the $140,000 worth of educational scholarships that were presented during the Honors Night Assembly.
From Midwest City, Spencer was awarded a $1,200 scholarship sponsored by the Jerry and Julie Kiefer Endowment. An active 4-H’er with the Oklahoma County 4-H Robotics Club, he participates in the STEM and leadership projects.
He has organized over 30 presentations, secured a dozen grants and managed six fundraisers, raising over $7,000 for his club and other local programs. He has been instrumental in starting three FIRST LEGO League teams. His efforts were recognized when he was named by the National 4-H Council as the winner of the 2021 Youth in Action Pillar Award for STEM.
“Without the support and inspiration from 4-H, my leaders and my friends, I never would’ve found this passion,” Spencer said. “The people in this program have had the biggest influence on my life. They’ve taught me to lead, love my community and make the best better.”
A student at Epic Charter Schools, Spencer says he believes it’s more important now than ever to introduce kids to STEM, no matter where they’re from.
Having served as a 4-H volunteer for 11 years and volunteer leader of the Haileyville 4-H Club for eight years, Sheryl Moore was recently named the 4-H Volunteer of the Year and the Southeast District Volunteer of the Year. Her dedication to the youth of Pittsburg County was recognized during the 2021 4-H Parent-Volunteer Conference on the OSU campus in Stillwater.
This award is presented to a volunteer with less than 10 years of service as a volunteer leader.
Moore began volunteering because of her daughter’s involvement in 4-H.
“After a while, I noticed there were some kiddos who didn’t necessarily have the support system that other club members did. I just felt like it was something I needed to do,” Moore said. “I wanted to help out those kids and give them encouragement. I’ve hauled kids all over the state for 4-H events and if they’re willing to work at it, I am too.”
As a 4-H’er herself, Moore was a member of the Mangum 4-H Club and participated in the horse program. Now that her granddaughter has joined, the family is four generations strong in the 4-H Youth Development program.
“In my short time in 4-H, Mrs. Moore really got me involved with 4-H activities such as sewing and photography,” said Ragan Kirkes. “She’s encouraged me to enter my stuff in the county fair and I’ve won some awards.”
Moore is instrumental in recruiting new club members as well as parents and teachers as volunteers. She’s actively involved in the county Health Rocks program, Farm to You and has served as a District 4-H Leadership Conference chaperone.
Moore’s other accolades include being named the 2015 Pittsburg County Volunteer Leader of the Year, as well as the 2016 Southeast District Volunteer of the Year.
“Sheryl not only has a positive impact on her club, but our entire county,” said Greg Owen, OSU Extension 4-H educator in Pittsburg County. “Her club participates in everything in our county. I’m really proud of her efforts with her innovative programming.
“Her older club members are trained to work with the younger members to create a mentor-learner environment, which leads to greater success on projects for each member and builds leadership skills for the older members.”
Owen and Moore started a Character Critters Crew of 4-H teens who teach this curriculum in area schools. To date, they’ve conducted more than 170 programs that have reached over 2,100 youth.
“Sheryl also promotes teen leadership development,” Owen added. “She currently has two State 4-H Ambassadors, one district 4-H officer and two Pittsburg County 4-H Ambassadors in her club.
“I cannot think of a more deserving person for the 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award than Sheryl Moore.”
Moore added, “I love seeing the kids in my local club go from being afraid to stand up and speak and afraid to put themselves out there, to running for an office, serving as a local or county officer and just watching them grow in their confidence,” she said.
“Volunteers don’t do this for the pat on the back, but it’s a good feeling to know those late nights and some frustrations aren’t in vain,” Moore said. “Just being appreciated is a great feeling.”
For more information, visit 4h.okstate.edu.