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Young woman in pink blazer standing on stage with a microphone.
Jenessa Dugger, Pittsburg County 4-H’er, was named a finalist for the prestigious 2024 4-H Youth in Action Award. She is one of 12 finalists nationwide. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agriculture)

Dugger named finalist for 4-H Youth in Action Award

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Sr. Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 |

The National 4-H Council has announced Jenessa Dugger of Harthshorne, Oklahoma, is a runner-up for the prestigious 2024 4-H Youth in Action Award. She was recognized for her commitment to supporting heart patients.

Dugger is a member of the Lakewood 4-H Club in Pittsburg County. She created her nonprofit, Art for Hearts, to raise funds by auctioning pieces of art donated by Oklahoma artists. Proceeds from the project help patients at the Saint Francis Heart Hospital with medical needs. A heart patient herself, Dugger aims to raise awareness and funds to support those with heart problems. She also serves as a leader on her tribe’s reservation, honoring her heritage and focusing on meeting needs in her community.

Greg Owen, Oklahoma State University Extension 4-H educator in Pittsburg County, said he has watched Dugger work diligently to achieve her goals.

“We are so proud of Jenessa for being selected as one of only 12 National Youth in Action runners-up, as well as her accomplishments while serving as president of the state leadership council for 2022-2023,” Owen said. “She has an outstanding service project and is a wonderful example of 4-H in Pittsburg County and the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program.”

She is the daughter of Michele Dugger and a freshman at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The 4-H Youth in Action Awards began in 2010 to recognize 4-H’ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their community. More information about the 4-H Youth in Action program and the 2024 runners-up is available online.

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 six million young people across the U.S. through experiential learning, which develops critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serves 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 one 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, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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