Berrien County 4-H members receive scholarships

BERRIEN COUNTY — Three 4-H alumni received scholarships on Sunday. Scholarships were presented during the Berrien County 4-H Member and Leader Recognition Celebration that was hosted virtually.

Victoria Dumke

Recipient of the 2020 4-H Joseph Cerny & Evelyn Cerny Memorial Scholarship was Darlene Mattson, of Benton Harbor. Darlene was presented with a scholarship for $1,000 towards her education by the Cerny Family representatives, Deborah Bachman and Laurie Cerny. The 2020 Berrien County 4-H Alumni Scholarship was awarded to Karen Smith, of Stevensville. Smith was presented with a $1,000.00 scholarship towards her continuing education. Lastly, Victoria Dumke, of Buchanan, was presented with the 2020 Berrien County 4-H Horse Leaders Association Equine Educational Scholarship in the amount of $500.00 to go towards her continuing education.

Darlene Mattson is the daughter of Herman and Lisa Mattson. of Benton Harbor. Mattson has been a member for 10 years where is actively involved as a member of Countrysiders 4-H Club, Best Friends 4-H Club, Town & Country Paws and Pals 4-H Club and Straight Shooters 4-H Club. Darlene is a Team Instructor in the Best Friends 4-H Club where she mentors’ youth in the dog project. Over the years, Mattson has participated in various projects, however, her leadership stands out the most as she has been elected as a teen director for the Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association where she provides insights for the local 4-H program as well as providing a youth voice in program/event development. Recently, Mattson was awarded a State 4-H Award for her hardwork and dedication to the companion animal science project, specifically the dog program. Currently, Mattson is pursuing a degree in engineering at Lakeland Michigan College.

Karen Smith is the daughter of Ryan and Beth Smith, of Stevensville. Smith has been a member for more than 10 years in the Galien Chanters 4-H Club, Baroda Bunnies 4-H Club and the Fuzzy Friends 4-H Club. Smith has participated in a variety of projects that include but not limited to rabbits, clothing & textile – sewing, food and nutrition, poultry, and llamas. Karen has been involved in the annual 4-H Spring Achievement event, 4-H Exploration Days and has been elected to various leadership roles within her clubs. Smith was also selected as a 2018 4-H State Award Delegate in the Rabbit & Cavy Science project. Currently, Smith is attending Southwest Michigan College.

Victoria Dumke is the daughter of Paul Dumke, of Buchanan. Dumke is a member of the River Valley Wranglers 4-H Club. Throughout the years, she has participated as a member of the 4-H Horse and Pony project, where she has gained knowledge on a variety of topics such as grooming, horse health, safety when working with horses as well as gaining a deeper understanding of ideal movement and confirmation by being a member of the Berrien County 4-H Horse Judging Team. Besides project mastery she has learned life skills that have impacted her success in throughout her life such as public speaking, self-confidence, and leaderships to name a few. Dumke was a member of the State Champion Horse Judging where she was able to compete nationally representing Michigan 4-H with her teammates. Dumke is currently attending Ferris State University majoring in accounting.

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