Marcum named National Youth in Action Award winner
Monday, October 2, 2023
Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Sr. Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The National 4-H Council today announced the winners of the 2024 Youth in Action Awards, a national program sponsored by Bayer that recognizes four diverse young leaders who have made a positive impact in their communities.
Each winner receives a $5,000 higher education scholarship and will spend the year 2024 inspiring other youth by telling their 4-H story. They will also have opportunities to showcase their work nationally, network with prominent 4-H alumni and serve as official 4-H spokespeople for Youth in Action.
The winners are announced during National 4-H Week, held Oct. 1-7, 2023, to celebrate and showcase the opportunities and impact that 4-H offers young people across the country.
Marcum, 18, is from McAlester, Oklahoma. After facing struggles around social anxiety and speaking because of an attention deficit diagnosis, Marcum gained confidence and found his voice in 4-H. He used his newfound courage to organize programs to address the needs of his community, organizing multiple annual events including a book bag giveaway and toy drive that benefit underserved populations in McAlester.
After a young neighbor lost his life to pediatric cancer, he started a foundation and organized an annual silent auction to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and support affected families. Marcum’s community has rallied around his leadership, allowing him to grow his projects exponentially each year, estimating total donation and fundraising efforts close to $3.5 million overall.
Greg Owen, Oklahoma State University Extension 4-H educator in Pittsburg County, said Marcum is deserving of this award.
“He has done so much through his various service projects in our community and helped so many people,” Owen said. “Reed is truly a servant leader who strives every day to find ways to help others. Pittsburg County 4-H and I are extremely proud of Reed becoming our county’s fourth National Youth in Action Award winner. I’m looking forward to watching his various experiences nationwide with this honor over the next year.”
Marcum is a freshman at OSU and is the son of Angie Miller and Jim Marcum.
Other 2024 award winners include Katie Collins, Charlotte, Tennessee; Amiyah Elam, Waycross, Georgia; and Avani Rai, Bloomington, Illinois.
“The 2024 Youth in Action Awards honor four incredible young people, each of whom are model examples of their generation – embodying a commitment to service, a love of their communities and a passion for leadership that represent the best of 4-H,” said Jill Bramble, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “We are proud that Cooperative Extension’s 4-H programs have offered Katie, Amiyah, Reed and Avani these opportunities to lead and tools to succeed, which they have used to make a positive impact on their communities and inspire other 4-H’ers to do the same.”
The 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored by Bayer, began in 2010 to recognize young people who overcome challenges and use the knowledge they gain through participation in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for careers tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through the nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serve every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower 1 million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to make healthier choices, two times more likely to be civically active and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Learn more about 4-H at 4-H.org and follow 4-H on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.