Scholarships & Awards

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With Sen. Chris Coons, Gov. John Carney and Ted Kittila and students

4-H believes in acknowledging and rewarding effort. 4-H Youth interested in leadership, wildlife or equine studies have the opportunity to apply for higher-education scholarships. The significant impact of Youth Members and Adult Volunteers are recognized through several award programs.


Delaware Scholarship Compendium


Delaware 4-H Foundation Scholarship

The Delaware 4-H Foundation makes scholarships available to Delaware 4-H members in pursuit of higher education. Traditional scholarship awards recognize continued 4-H leadership. 

The annual Charles “Chuck” Busker Memorial Scholarship from the Delaware 4-H Foundation was established in 2024. High school seniors or college students who are pursuing a degree in agriculture will be considered for this scholarship of $5,000.00 to support their studies. Students with an interest in dairy demonstrated by multiple years of 4-H Dairy Project participation and leadership will be given top priority. This award is given in memory of Charles “Chuck” Busker, an avid dairy farmer and 4-H supporter, via the endowment in his memory with the Foundation.  


Whitetails Unlimited

Whitetails Unlimited, Delaware Chapter, offers two $2,500 scholarships. These scholarships are available to qualifying seniors who plan to pursue a major associated with Wildlife and Forestry Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Management, Wildlife Biology, and/or Wildlife Ecology and Management.

Delaware Equine Council Foundation Scholarship

Each year, the Foundation, supported by the Delaware Equine Council, awards scholarships to a few high-achieving students, pursuing their education in fields that will enhance the equine or agricultural industry.

4-H Youth Activity Awards

Delaware 4-H Youth in Action (YIA) Award

This award honors four Delaware 4-H’ers who have gained critical life skills through their 4-H experience and have utilized those skills to overcome a challenge or challenges they have faced.  Every honoree is an outstanding 4-H’er who epitomizes 4-H youth empowerment and leadership. Through a formal selection process, one awardee will be chosen within each pillar area:

  • Youth in Action: Agriculture
  • Youth in Action: Citizenship
  • Youth in Action: Healthy Living
  • Youth in Action: STEM

More information about the National 4-H Youth in Action (YIA) Award

Diamond Clover 4-H Award

The award consists of six levels that each require a 4-Her to plan and accomplish a broad range of age-appropriate tasks, acquiring valuable life skills as they progress.

Future Blue Hen Award

The 4-H staff have nominated 4-H members who have exhibited outstanding leadership, participation and cooperation during fair week. These 4-H members show a commitment to agriculture and a great potential for future success.

Joy G. Sparks Memorial Tribute Award

This annual perpetual award was established in 2009 by the Delaware State Fair Board of Directors as a memorial to Joy G. Sparks. The award will recognize a  4-H youth member who has excelled in their participation in both the Delaware 4-H Program and as an exhibitor of the Delaware State Fair.

Joy Sparks was a member of the Delaware State Fair Board of Directors for 22 years from 1987 to 2009.  She served in the role of 4th Vice President while also serving as the 4-H Department Superintendent.  She participated on several fair committees over the years, while serving as chairperson of the Short and Long Range Planning. Joy had a 35+ year career with the University of Delaware in Cooperative Extension. As State Program leader for the Delaware 4-H Program, she was the driving force which helped Delaware 4-H become a program epitomized by so many other states. In her various roles, Joy always displayed outstanding leadership qualities and promoted and encouraged leadership to all youth with which she worked.  In addition, her contributions to the Delaware State Fair and her community were many as she always promoted volunteer work and community service.

Nominations for this award will be accepted annually each year for any 4-H member ages 14 to 19 years. Nominees for this award will be judged on four main elements that clearly were important and promoted by Joy in her everyday life: Fair Participation, 4-H Participation, Leadership and Community Service. Nominees may not nominate themselves.  All nominations must be received by June 30 via email at the following address:

Prudential Emerging Visionaries

The world needs innovations – your innovations. Prudential Emerging Visionaries is a national program that celebrates and awards young people who create solutions to financial and societal challenges. We're building a community of young people working to create positive change across the nation. If you have a solution and a well-designed plan to make it happen, tell us about it.

4-H Adult Volunteer Recognition Awards

Delaware 4-H Hall of Fame

In 2002, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, National 4-H Council and 4-H National Headquarters partnered to create the National 4-H Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to recognize 4-H volunteers, Extension professionals, staff employees, donors and others who made a significant impact on 4-H at the local, state or national level.  This event is sponsored by the Delaware 4-H Foundation.

    Delaware 4-H Hall of Fame Laureates

Delaware 4-H Hall of Fame Pioneer Class Induction of Laureates – 1914-1922 

  • Alex Cobb ~ Helen Comstock 
  • Dorothy Emerson ~ Agnes Medill 
  • Theodore Martin ~ M.O. Pence 
  • George Dewey -Sapp ~ Nellie Snyder 


Induction of Laureates – 1923-1964 

  • Martha Benson ~ Floyd Blessing 
  • Ann Clendaniel ~ Ralph Clendaniel 
  • Maurice “Pop” Field ~ John Hastings 
  • Cliff Hufnal ~ Pauline Hufnal 
  • Mabel Lambden ~ Isaac Thomas 
  • Bill Walther ~ Sylvia Walther 
  • George Worrilow


Induction of Laureates – 1965 to 2012

  • Sam Gwinn 2002
  • Jim Baker 2005
  • Marion MacDonald 2006
  • Gov. Ruth Ann Minner 2007
  • Thurman Adams 2008
  • Larry Shaffer 2010 
  • Joy Sparks 2012  
  • Frances Clinton * and Earl Clinton * - Kent County H. Wallace Cook, Jr. (Hap) - New Castle County H. Wallace Cook, Sr. (Wallace) * - New Castle County Susan Benson Cox * - Kent County 

  • Jane Everline * - Kent County 

  • Lola Gibbs * - Kent County 

  • Betty Lou Gooden * - Kent County 

  • Jay Hukill - Sussex County 

  • Carlene Jones - Sussex County 

  • Ruth Ann Messick and Robert Messick * - Kent County Frances Millman * - Sussex County 

  • Sally Moller * - Kent County 

  • Patricia Shaffer * - New Castle County 

  • Barbara Taylor - Sussex County 

  • Grace V. Tinley * - Kent County 

  • William (Bill) and Ellen Vanderwende - Sussex County Carole Vincent - Sussex County 

  • Betty Jo (BJ) Van Kavelaar - Kent County 

* Deceased

  • Mary Frances Argo – Sussex County 

  • Dean Belt – New Castle County 

  • Helen Blessing – Kent County 

  • Margaret Carey – Sussex County 

  • Patricia Mae Correll – Sussex County 

  • C. Fred Grampp – Kent County 

  • Dan Hudson – Kent County 

  • Leona Hudson – Kent County 

  • Betty Jestice – Sussex County 

  • Jim Kemble – New Castle County 

  • Sue Ann Clendaniel McClements – Kent County 

  • Virginia Melson – Sussex County 

  • Franklin E. Melson, Sr. – Sussex County 

  • Evelyn Messick – Sussex County 

  • LeRoy Messick – Sussex County 

  • Betty Niblett – New Castle County 

  • Richard Niblett – New Castle County 

  • T. Harold Palmer – Kent/Sussex Counties 

  • Joyce Simpson – Sussex County 

  • Mary Thomas – Kent County 

  • Barbara Tatman Warren – Kent County

  • Richard Brown- Kent County 

  • Mary Grampp Brown- Kent County 

  • Charmayne Busker- Kent County 

  • William Campbell- Sussex County 

  • Howard Clendaniel- Kent County 

  • Nancy Clendaniel- Kent County 

  • Karen Crouse- Kent County 

  • Alice Mae Dempsey- Kent County 

  • Clara Feucht- New Castle County 

  • Barbara Gooden- Kent County 

  • George Haenlein- New Castle County 

  • Dorothy Hopkins- Sussex County 

  • William Hopkins- Sussex County 

  • Mark Manno- New Castle County 

  • Betty Palmer- Kent County 

  • Cliff Palmer- Kent County 

  • Deloris Reynolds- New Castle County 

  • Rodney Reynolds- New Castle County 

  • Dana Sharpe- Kent County 

  • Jean Wilson- Sussex County

  • Charles Bostick 

  • Doris Bostick 

  • Ron Breeding 

  • Bette Butler 

  • Ellen Cooper 

  • Brenda Ebling 

  • Chuck Ebling 

  • Marian Harvey
  • Janice Melson
  • Richard Melson 

  • David Price 

  • Esther Ridley
  • Joel Ridley 
  • Brenda Shaffer 

  • Denis Shaffer 

  • Anna Tucker 

  • Becky Vanderwende
  • Joyce Wright 
  • Herman Zeitler 

  • Mary Jane Zeitler

2022 Delaware 4-H Hall of Fame Laureates


  • Joanne Carter
  • Samuel Dixon, Jr.
  • Myrtle Dixon
  • Pam Eskridge
  • Gilbert Hense, Jr.
  • Phyllis Hill
  • Sarah Hukill Berninger
  • Kaye Kemp
  • Judi Learning
  • Rita Lofland
  • Rhonda Martell
  • Cathy Martin
  • Kenneth McIlvain
  • Laura Pomatto
  • Kay Powell
  • Brian Somers
  • Peggy Spence
  • John Tigner
  • Carol Warren 
  • Lynn Bullen Wilkins

4-H Adult Volunteer Recognition Awards

National 4-H Hall of Fame

The National 4-H Hall of Fame Task Force of NAE4-HA, in cooperation with National 4-H Council and 4-H National Headquarters.  Our goal is for NAE4-HA members, foundation/development professionals and 4-H faculty at all levels to work together to select and nominate the most deserving candidate of each Land-grant institution to the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award

The Joy Sparks Spirit of 4-H Award recognizes outstanding individuals who exhibit enthusiasm, dedication and exemplify 4-H spirit and values. The award is named in memory of 4-H state program leader Joy Sparks, who died Feb. 17, 2009.

4-H Salute to Excellence Awards

Each year, state 4-H programs nominate two outstanding individual volunteers through the 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards.* The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years as a 4-H volunteer while the Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4-H less than 10 years.