Previously, the Diamond Clover Level 6 required youth to complete a service learning project. At the end of 2018, this service learning project was separated out into an individual award and recognition program called Nebraska 4-H Gives Back. The recipients listed below are individuals who completed a service learning project as part of the Diamond Clover program prior to 2019 and the Nebraska 4-H Gives Back program since 2019.
Kamryn Wanser, Kennedy Powell, Brooklynn Nelsen - Lancaster County
Little Free Pantry
A local group of 4-H'ers decided to take action when they saw some of their peers struggling with food insecurity. They created a plan and found a local craftsman to build their dream of a little free pantry. Local businesses have been generous in their donations and commitments as well as other 4-H Clubs within Lancaster County. They set out to help peers and are grateful for the opportunity to support so many in our community who need a bit of help from time to time.
Allison Walbrecht - Lancaster County
"Unified Showing was created as a program to empower youth with disabilities through learning about and showing livestock with the aid of a buddy."
-- Allison Walbrecht
John Sump - Lancaster County
Organized Trash Pickup at Eight Natural Resources (NRD) Lakes
"I achieved two goals through my 4-H Gives Back Project. I assembled and installed two fishing line recycling tubes at each NRD lake to help encourage proper disposal of fishing line around the lakes; and I organized the May 15, 2021, a clean-up day of the eight NRD lakes in and around Lancaster County. Volunteers have expressed an intent to clean up the lakes at least once a year. The outcome of these events will hopefully cause the waters and area around the lakes to be cleaner and safer for the animals that live in and around them."
-- John Sump
Chet McGrury IV, Josiah Harvey, and Andrew Harvey - Gage County
Adult and Teen Challenge (ATC) Gardening Project
"The Adult and Teen Challenge (ATC) Gardening Project is an experience that will be remembered. This project has touched many lives inmany different ways. Not only has it provided food on the table during the growing season and beyond for the students at ATC, but it has also allowed individuals and families to support one another and work hard together. In this project, we worked with the students at Adult and Teen Challenge of the Midlands Blue River Women's Center in order to help them with their garden that they had been having trouble with getting to produce well. We worked with them on this project to teach them fundamentals of horticulture. This involved preparing the soil, to planting seeds, to harvesting the crops, including everything in between. By the end of the growing season and project, the students, as well as myself and the team, had learned many new skills, experiences, and knowledge about gardening."
-- Chet McGrury IV
Hanna Gruhlkey, Jay Graham, Dalton Neubauer, Vince Vannoordwyk, Vance Vannoordwyk, Lillie Gruhlkey, Easton Gruhlkey - Douglas/Sarpy Counties
Explorers 4-H Club Growing Food for Stephen Center to Fight Hunger in the Community
"The Explorers 4-H Club Growing Food for the Stephen Center to Fight in the Community project involved developing water testing procedures for groundwater, surface water, and rain water, to ensure safety in the water supply. The club prepared other youth to serve as Nebraska Water Ambassadors to train an additional 18,000 youth statewide in these testing techniques. With the knowledge gained from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Explore Water Projects Water Filtration and Electro-coagulation, youth developed engineering projects to extend the Nebraska growing season with their own prototype systems for the 2020-2021 fall, winter, and spring seasons. They used data generated to monitor the soil conditions to watch the nutrients in the soil and to avoid water contamination from surroundings."
-- Explorers 4-H Club
Elizabeth Blaser - Platte County
Listening to fond memories about a public ice skating area and warming shelter that used to be present in the community of Columbus, and knowing that may youth in the community travel to other cities to enjoy ice skating, Elizabeth began the Columbus Ice project, which will bring a full-sized skating rink and warming station to her Columbus. She began by coordinating a community attitude and interest survey. She helped raise funds and worked very closely with many key community stakeholders (Columbus Public School, the City of Columbus, civic organizations, other commercial/residential contractors, etc.) to make Columbus Skate a reality.
Nolan Eickhoff - Seward County
Abandandoned But Not Forgotten
Because of his interest in 4-H heritage, history, and geneaology projects, Nolan repaired, cleaned, and improved the conditions of abandoned cemetaries in Seward County. This process involved fence repair, clearing brush, sign creation, and much more. He also created cemetary directories which included names, date of birth and death, age, relationships to others in ceemtary, and other historical information, which was then given to the Geneaological Sciety, the Historical Society, and the County Clerk's Office.
Owen Eickoff - Seward County
Seeds for Seniors
Owen brightened the lives of over 90 nursing home residents in Milford, Nebraska, as he grew and gave each of them a plant of their very own to care for and to enjoy. He also completed a service project at each location when the plants were delivered; the service projects involved outdoor cleanup, such as weeding, preparing planters for spring plantings, painting, and other tasks.
Alyssa Josoff - Seward County
Monarchs and Milkweed
After learning at the 4-H-sponsored Monarchs on the Move event that the monarch butterfly population has decreased by 80 percent over the past 23 years, Alyssa planned and taught workshops as a way to increase the number of pollinator habitats in her community. She also conducted CRP land checks with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and wildlife biologists; caught, tagged, and released monarchs; and harvested and distributed milkweed seeds.
Ashtyn Humphreys - Gage County
For her Diamond Clover project, Ashtyn engaged elementary students at Diller-Odell in a vertical gardening project.
Cole Jacobsen - Cuming County
Card Holders for Area Nursing Homes
After visiting several local nursing homes in his community, Cole saw how elderly residents who had suffered from strokes, diabetes, arthiritis, or other illnesses, were encountering difficulties to play games, such as cards, with fellow residents or family members. To fulfill this need, Cole purchased supplies and made 50 wooden card holders that were delivered to the Wisner Senior Center and St. Francis Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center.
Charli Schlomer - Madison County
Better With Books
Charli organized the "Better With Books" Book Drive. This community project involved collecting gently used or new children's books appropriate for children in Pre-Kindergarten through 4th Grade. The books were donated back to local students enrolled in Norfolk's "Blessings in a Backpack" food assistance program. Over 8,000 books were collected and given to over 400 students in the Norfolk community.
Anna Sump - Lancaster County
Eastern Bluebird Houses
After discovering that the midwest's population of Eastern Bluebirds was being reduced due to numerous factors, Anna supervised the building of 52 bird houses that were distributed at the 2018 Lancaster County Super Fair.
Addison Wanser - Lancaster County
Nourishing the NICU
Addision made over 250 felt hearts and 200 celebratory cards for preemie babies that were donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. Addison also coordinated the creation of 15 burial gowns that were also donated to the NICU.
Maria Cihacek, a 4-H'er from Douglas/Sarpy Counties, planted and cared for a butterfly garden that was placed at Mercy Villa in Omaha, Nebraska. Through the project, Maria learned about responsibility, finances, and time management. She also learned how to properly care for flowers and how to maintain a garden.
Mary DeGraff, a 4-H'er from Cass County, raised funds for the purchase of an American Kennel Club (AKC) Pet Disaster Relief Trailer. The trailer will be used by the Cass County Emergency Management Agency as a way to hold and care for animals when natural disaster occurs.
Lauren Jacobsen from Cuming County is a 4-H'er that made Alzheimer’s Activity Mats for nursing homes in her community. These mats lift spirits, stimulate senses, and reinforce memory. Lauren learned how to develop an activity using time management, organization, setting a budget, and working with others. These mats were a huge success and will continue to be made for future residents.
Samantha Linder from Cuming County completed a project called, "Supplies for Students." This project provided free books, workbooks and flash cards for preschool and elementary students in her community.
Amanda Pischel, a 4-H'er from Holt County, understands just how important agricultural is in our society. She took on a project to educate youth in her community about where their food comes from and how they use agricultural products in their everyday lives. She learned how to develop lesson plans and get youth actively involved in activities. She plans to continue this program in the years to come.
Jetta Harvey from Gage County led the Pathfinders 4-H Club in constructing a Quilt of Valor that was then given to an honored Veteran at a reception hosted by the club. She also volunteered at an afterschool program and assisted two other 4-H youth; both groups of young people completed a Quilt of Valor.
Sheridan Swotek from Lancaster County is a Diamond Clover recipient. Sheridan started the “Go Go Goat Getters” 4-H Club. This club provides urban youth the opportunity to have hands-on experiences in agriculture. Through this program 4-H youth are able to work with goats on Sheridan’s farm learning valuable skills, animal husbandry, and learning all about dairy goats. Monthly meetings occur along with a chore list. 4-H'ers in this club are given the opportunity to exhibit what they have learned while showing their goats at the Lancaster County Fair. Sheridan funded this project through t-shirt sales and grants provided by the Governor’s Agricultural Excellence awards.
Ronny Petersen from Cuming County, took on the “Fourth ‘H’” of the 4-H pledge (Health). His project addressed physical health, mental growth, and emotional health for the less fortunate in his community and also around the world. Through several donations and grants Ronny was able to put together several kits and donations that addressed mental health issues, supported the mental growth of school children, provided supplies for personal care kits, AIDS/Hospice care kits, and financial donations for cancer research and cleft palette surgeries, and for families in third world countries to purchase animals to produce their own food.
Justine Bauer, a Buffalo County 4-Her, took on a project at Kearney’s S.A.F.E. Center which is a safe place for domestic violence and shelter. She got other 4-hers to lend a helping hand by making pillowcases, care baskets, and providing a meal. Her goal was to show the impact of volunteering on her community can actually make a difference.
Bailey Gocke from York County, created the project “4-Your Baby: Holding Hands, Holding Hearts”. She had numerous volunteers that helped sew blankets to reach her goal. She delivered 150 blankets to the York County Hospital to be used for newborn babies and children. The skills learned through this project will continue to be valuable in her future.
Jamie Poppe is a Diamond Clover recipient from Dodge County. Jamie, who has a soft spot for children, decided to help out her local community by putting together foster care bags. She assembled 30 youth bags that consisted of a blanket, stuffed animal, a book, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. She also assembled 25 duffle bags for teens that included a blanket, a stuffed animal, a journal, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. She worked with the organization “Project Everlast” to help distribute the bags that left a positive impact on her community.
Max Wanser is a Diamond Clover recipient from Lancaster County. Through his Diamond Clover project, “Little Free Library” he created a little library that would sit on the gazebo at the Holmes Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center. His goal was to increase literacy with the elderly along with the younger children. He felt like it was important for those two generations to interact with each other. He found that the best way to learn is through failure but with failure you can’t give. Instead you have to get right back up and try again.
Keziah Bruns from York County is a recipient of the Diamond clover project. She wanted to give back to her community by renovating her local community batting cage. She did this by fundraising all of the money and finding local residents to help donate their time and labor. Keziah learned a lot of new skills by pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Her goal was to give something back to her community that they can use along with bringing people into the community as well.
KateLynn Ness is a Diamond Clover recipient from Dodge County. She decided to make a difference in her community by organizing several drives that included school supplies, baby necessities, food, toys, and winter apparel. The donations were donated to the community organization “The Bridge” that helps prevent domestic violence and sexual assaults. KateLynn has learned the true value of volunteering, and taking initiative to start a chain reaction of good to make a true difference for others.
Amanda Most from Keith County is a recipient of the Diamond Clover project. Amanda taught second and third graders about the importance of agriculture in their community and around the world. She went to an afterschool program to spread her knowledge of agriculture. She taught them the process of corn from growing it to how it ends up in the grocery store. She learned that even youth in an agricultural community still need to learn about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from.
Alexandra Linder is a Diamond Clover recipient from Cuming County. She decided to create the project “Clothing for a Cause” Her goal was to organize volunteers to make a minimum of 50 dresses from recycled pillowcases and gym shorts made from recycled t-shirts. She designed the shorts pattern herself. She succeeded by sending 275 dresses and 305 pairs of shorts to needy children in Uganda, Africa in May of 2015. Alexandra was able to get the community involved and learned the importance of helping people in need.
Jessica Shonka from Dodge County is a Diamond Clover recipient. ‘Reaching For A Mile Of Smiles’ was her project that she completed. Jessica helped sew pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer, which is a program that gives pillowcases to children in hospitals that have been diagnosed with cancer. Jessica was able to put a smile on the children’s faces and give them hope for the future. She had all of her materials donated and with the help of her National Honor Society group they were able to sew 90 pillowcases. Jessica has learned a lot about herself, working with others, and the importance of giving back to others.
Catherine Jones is a Diamond Clover recipient from Sarpy County. She noticed the lack of seating at her County Fair and wanted to address this problem. She wanted to promote the 4-H program along with getting 4-H youth involved in the community. Nine benches were funded by Friends of Extension and the 4-H Foundation. 4-H'ers got together creating and designing these benches. This was a great contribution to the Sarpy County Fairgrounds as well as supporting 4-H and getting the community involved in being able to utilize these benches.
Ethan Nelson is a 4-H'er from Cheyenne County. His Diamond Clover Project, called "Entrepreneurship: Starting a Business -- You Can Do It!" promoted the benefits of becoming a youth entrepreneur. Ethan used his business, Nelsonart©, as an example and shared his youth entrepreneurship message with approximately 40,224 people in one year.
Mikaela Karpen is a Diamond Clover recipient from Scotts Bluff County. Through her Diamond Clover project, "4-H for Literacy," Mikaela raised money for the Mitchell Public Library; these funds were used to help upgrade the technology department and the children's area. She also assisted with the summer reading program, "Fizz Boom Bang."
Lexi Kaufman is a 4-H’er from Gage County. She received her Diamond Clover by using her passion for animals to organize a nursing home petting zoo for the residents. She brought several different animals with her along with a photo booth to capture the memories. Lexi was excited to see all of the residents with smiling faces enjoying the petting zoo.
Alexis Schmidt is a Diamond Clover recipient from Fillmore County. Through her Diamond Clover project, “The Million Pillowcase Challenge” she sewed over 25 pillowcases for her local hospital to give to patients. Her hope is that the patients will know that local 4-H’ers are thinking of them when they are ill and hoping for a speedy recovery. She has felt the impact of being able to give back to her own community and encourages others to do the same.
Troy Ebel received his Diamond Clover through his project “The Sons of The American Legion”. Troy had the idea to establish The Sons of the American Legion in his local community, Scribner which is located in Dodge County. With his success he is excited to be working alongside local veterans to show support for his community and our nation.
Emily Poppe is a 4-H’er from Dodge County. She received her Diamond Clover by making Chemo Care Packages for cancer patients. She had enough supplies donated to create 100 Care Packages along with generous volunteers to help assemble the packages. Emily said it was a very rewarding experience, it felt good to give a little excitement and see their smiles. Emily also received several kind notes from cancer patients simply saying thank you for brightening their day and for thinking about them.
Conrad Schelkopf is a 4-H'er from Filmore County. His Diamond Clover Project, called "Down on the Farm", focuses on agricultural education for kindergarten students. Conrad was inspired to teach others about how farmers feed America through his own experiences showing livestock. With this project, Conrad enabled students to educate others about agriculture.
Lydia Vinton is a Diamond Clover recipient from Arthur County. Her project is called "The Wet 'N' Wild Fun Run", was inspired by her love of running. The event consisted of a 5K run, as well as a children's mile. With over 30 participants, Lydia was able to teach others how to live a more active, healthy lifestyle.
Elisabeth Loseke received her Diamond Clover through her project "Stand Up For Ag". This project consisted of educating youth in Platte County about agriculture. By visiting classrooms in the Columbus area, as well as the Platte County Fair, Elisabeth was able to teach students about the importance of agriculture.
Logan Sieck is a 4-H'er from Saline County. Her Diamond Clover project, called "Picture Place", consisted of designing and constructing a designated staging area for pictures at her county fair. Logan was able to use her 4-H skills in this project by building a metal frame with a curtain backdrop. She then donated her work to Saline County, providing them with their very own "Picture Place".
Micah Most is a Diamond Clover recipient from Keith County. His project is called "Grow Keith County 4-H", and concentrates on increasing interest in his local 4-H program. Micah accomplished this by hosting a three-hour camp for Clover Kids, educating them on 4-H's purpose, and providing them with fun, hands-on projects. This camp taught Micah the importance of investing in future generations.
Ashley Spurlock is a Diamond Level recipient from Douglas/Sarpy Counties. For her project, she chose to help out the Project Linus organization. Through this endeavor, Ashley learned how to teach others about the different ways to work with fabric. She hopes to bring awareness to Project Linus, and to inspire others to volunteer as well.
Ellen Cihacek is a 4-H'er from Douglas/Sarpy Counties. She made 125 "Ranger Rosaries" for her Diamond Clover Project. The rosaries were shipped to Our Lady's Rosary Makers at St. Mary's Church in Annapolis, Maryland, where they will be checked over, finished off the final knot, blessed, and eventually shipped to chaplains who are serving in the armed forces.
Elizabeth Cox is a Diamond Level recipient from Hamilton County. Her project, called "Tree Nursery", was started to replace trees on the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. This nursery currently consists of ten trees, including Norway Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Ponderosa Pine, Greenspire Linden, and Bur Oak. The nursery is expected to continue to expand in the future.
Nicholas Petersen is a 4-H'er from Cuming County. This Diamond Level recipient did a project called "Necessities for the Needy", which consisted of making kits of supplies for the less fortunate. Nicholas was able to reach out and help people in third world countries, as well as those in his own area. His project promoted citizenship and leadership, as he was able to involve other students and parents in his mission to help those in need.
Miranda Wieczorek is from Hall County. Her Diamond Clover Project is called "4-H: A Place for me!" Miranda's overall goal was to encourage youth, ages 5-8, to get involved in 4-H. Throughout this project, she designed a program with classes, a workshop, activities, and much more - all of which taught general public and youth what 4-H is and the many opportunities that 4-H has to offer.
Kimberly Ruskamp is a 4-H'er from Dodge County. Her Diamond Clover Project is called "B.I.K.E.S", which stands for Bikers Increasing Knowledge, Experience, & Safety. Through this project, Kimberly was able to teach children, ages 5-12, about bicycle safety. These children participated in bicycle safety classes, and were then quizzed on what they had learned.
Amanda Berg is a 4-Her from Seward County. She chose the 4-H Cottage Renovation project to provide others with a meeting place for further 4-H involvement. She was inspired to do this by her passion of working with 4-Hers and giving back for future generations.
Amy Lohse is a Diamond Level recipient from Gage County. Her Dressing Up the Homestead project involved her with sewing outfits for the Homestead National Monument. Not only did Amy complete two outfits, three skirts, a child's dress and pinafore, but she also learned about clothing styles for the 1890s time period.
Connor Wiese is another 4-Her from Seward County who is a Diamond Level recipient. He also chose the 4-H Cottage Renovation project because it was an opportunity for him to give back to future 4-Hers. His involvement in this project improved his knowledge of woodworking and his leadership skills.
Kyle Ebel is a 4-Her from Dodge County. He chose the St. Peter's Cemetery Beautification project, which consisted of repairing and improving a small church cemetery. In this project, Kyle learned the importance of time management and community involvement.
Marissa Florian is a Diamond Clover recipient from Saline County. She took on the project “Rooftop Rumble”. In this project Marissa fundraised money and held a luncheon to get a new roof put on the Sokol Hall in Wilber. She learned that it can be difficult to organize a big project but she has gained new leadership skills working with her community. She has gain a pride of accomplishments and hopes other youth will be willing to volunteer in their communities as well.
Hailey Esch from Red Willow County is a recipient of the Diamond Clover project. Hailey created a softball history cookbook of favorite recipes given from former and current players. In this cookbook every recipe will have the nutritional health information along with a healthy substitute section and the history of the McCook softball teams. Hailey knows that having nutritional information added to the cookbook is important because people sometimes have dietary restrictions and people like to have healthier options to choose from.
Eric Woita is a Diamond Level recipient from Holt County. He is recognized for his contribution to The Fair Plaque Project. In this project, Eric made Champion and Reserve Champion plaques, which were then hung on livestock stalls at the Holt County Fair. Eric is the first ever Diamond Level recipient from Holt County. From this project, Eric was able to improve his woodworking skills.
Heather Hutchison is recognized for her Ongoing Project for Epworth Village. From Lincoln County, Heather is a Diamond Level recipient who started a community service project. This project includes donating much needed supplies to Epworth Village, which provides shelter, education, and counseling for young boys. From this project, Heather learned the importance of reaching out to the community to help others, and is still continuing to do so.
Kyle Pederson is a 4-Her from Lancaster County. Kyle is a Diamond Level Recipient due to his Christian Heritage Children's Home (CHCH) Plant Project. Kyle's project consisted of moving plants to a children's home, and starting a 4-H club for the children living at the home. Kyle's involvement enabled him to help the community by beautifying the landscape, as well as giving the children an exciting 4-H experience.
Sara Valentine is a 4-Her from Buffalo County. She was chosen as a Diamond Level Recipient for her involvement in Operation Military Kids: HERO Packs. In this project, Sara assembled 50 backpacks to give to children with a deployed parent. This provided a way for the children to stay connected with their parent. Through this project, Sara displayed her passion for helping those who are impacted by the Global War on Terrorism.
Danielle DeTurk is recognized for his Africa Clothing Project. From Lincoln County, Danielle is a Diamond Level Recipient who collected clothing for children Zambia. Her work in gathering donations spanned over two years, and included a 4-H sewing day for the Africa Clothing Project, as well as many other fundraising activities. This project taught Danielle the importance of helping others who are less fortunate, as well as the ability to ask others for help.
Haylee McVicker is a Diamond Clover recipient from Box Butte County. For her service-learning project, Haylee chose to renovate the Box Butte County Fair 4-H Building. Haylee's work on the building involved cleaning, painting, upgrading the lights, replacing display fixtures, and adding a hand painted mural. Through this project, Haylee was able to give back to the 4-H community.
Jennie Allen is a 4-Her from Cass County. She is a Diamond Clover recipient for her Flag Pole Garden project. This project involved redesigning the local Flag Pole Garden at the Riverview Cemetery in Louisville, Nebraska, and required a lot of help from the community. Jennie was able to increase her knowledge of garden maintenance and design through this project.
Krista Peterson is a Diamond Clover recipient from Cuming County. Her Bandages for Global Health Ministries project consisted of preparing 5,000 bandages for medical communities and missionaries in third world countries. Krista was able to maintain a totally "green" project, as the bandages were recycled from worn and soiled sheets, and were then shipped in clean recycled shoe boxes. Through this project, Krista utilized help from her community and family.