Congratulations to our 2022 Golden Clover Award Winners

Nov 30, 2022

Congratulations to our 2022 Golden Clover Award Winners

Nov 30, 2022

megaphone announcing 4-H Golden Clover awards
The Golden Clover Awards recognize outstanding achievements of members, volunteers, program staff, and groups within the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program.

photo of Johnathan Salters, Member of Excellence Award
The 2022 Member of Excellence Golden Clover Award

The Member of Excellence Award recognizes a 4-H member for personal achievement and improvement, setting goals and completing them, excelling beyond expectations, overcoming hardships, and for outstanding and long-term contributions to the 4-H Program. The Member of Excellence Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Recipient: Johnathan Salters, San Joaquin County

Johnathan Salters earned this award for his longtime contribution to the 4-H program. His service as County and State Ambassador has shown him to be a true leader, planning and representing his County and State at events and conferences on every level. He charismatically inspires and mentors his fellow 4-H'ers. Johnathan excels at partnering with adult volunteers and staff to promote the California 4-H platform. Furthermore, he has a heart for his community, serving homeless children, fire fighters, and many others.

The 2022 Robert Brownlee Science Golden Clover Award

The Robert Brownlee Science Award recognizes science inquiry and experiential learning in 4-H work to help youth increase knowledge, skills and competencies and improve their attitudes about science. This includes increasing science awareness and use in 4-H projects by testing predictions and making sense of observations. The Robert Brownlee Science Award is sponsored by the Robert Brownlee Foundation. In honor of the visionary, Robert Brownlee (1942-1991), the Foundation was established in 1987 to provide financial awards for creating and maintaining innovative programs for youth.

Photo of Harini, Robert Brownlee Science Award winner
Recipients: Harini Muthu, Alameda County and Sudharsan Gopalakrishnan, Contra Costa County

Harini Muthu earned this award by designing and publishing a cell phone app that logs 4-H activities by Record Book category, which in turn makes the Record Book process less daunting. Harini encountered a setback when working on her Record Book and worked to resolve it not just for herself, but for all California 4-H'ers. Harini pressed through the arduous process of learning a new programming language, coding the app, and making it compatible for all devices. Once the app was created, Harini worked to get the app approved by the State Incentives & Recognition Advisory Committee. With only a few changes, Harini was able to get it approved. The 4-H Activity Tracker is now available for free on the Apple and Google app stores.

Photo of Sudharsan-Robert Brownlee Science Award winner
Sudharsan Gopalakrishnan earned this award by participating in and presenting at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Using the science of GIS mapping skills and his passion for being a changemaker for food insecurity, Sudharsan presented his ArcGIS map to over 15,000 conference attendees. The ArcGIS map helps residents determine the healthiness of food in their community. As a member of the National 4-H GIS Team, Sudharsan also has been working on a high-impact initiative called ‘Where's the Food', which works with restaurants and stores to sell healthier foods without losing profits. His Team received a NSF Grant collaboration with UC San Diego to further the Team's efforts to increase access to healthier food options.


The 2022 Jack and Robert Clay Outdoor Adventure Golden Clover Award

The Jack and Robert Clay Outdoor Adventure Award recognizes outstanding achievement, leadership, and promotion of 4-H camping and outdoor adventures such as camping, fishing, hiking, climbing, GIS/GPS, among others. The Jack and Robert Clay Outdoor Adventure Award is sponsored by the Friends of Jack and Robert Clay. Following a tragic accident in 1987, this Memorial Award was established by the family and friends of Jack Clay and his son, Robert, who were enthusiastically involved in the 4-H camping and outdoor adventure projects as leader and junior leader in Alameda County.

Dean and Kai- Jack & Robert Clay Outdoor Adventure awardees
Recipient: Dean and Kai Wu, Santa Clara County

Dean and Kai Wu earned this award by starting the first Rolling Hills 4-H Fishing Project to share their passion and key techniques for fishing with other urban 4-H'ers. This project started online in 2020 and by 2021, they transitioned to meeting in-person. Shifting from distance-learning activities to hands-on activities was exciting for everyone because many of the project members had never fished before. Using the skills they gained as Fishing Project leaders, Dean and Kai organized a fundraiser fishing tournament for the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. They raised over $8,000 to support kids who struggle with life threatening food allergies. Dean and Kai Wu not only supported their fellow 4-H members with their skills and passion, but they benefited the broader community as well.


The 2022 Fundraising Award Golden Clover Award

The Fundraising Award recognizes an individual and/or group for efforts in fundraising for both financial and in-kind donations generated for local, county, and state levels. Recipients share methods and processes to raise funds and educate others in the fundraising process. The Fundraising Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Photo of County Judging Team, Placer - Fundraising award
Recipient: County Judging Team, Placer County

The Placer County Judging Team earned this award for their marketing and fundraising efforts to raise money for their county. To fundraise, this team of two 4-H members – Myah Davidson and Joey Stephani - started a “Knowledge Skill-A-Thon” at each of their counties' fairs. They contacted their fairs, proposed their idea, and got both fairs to agree to the event. They spent hours creating and finalizing their idea of a youth-led knowledge test and marketed their event. The “Knowledge Skill-A-Thon” had an amazing turnout. The team also received a $1,000 add-on from an observer for their “hard work” and dedication. Through their successful event, they created a memorable learning opportunity for youth of all ages.

The 2022 Volunteer Leader Mentoring Golden Clover Award

The Volunteer Leader Mentoring Award recognizes a volunteer who changes the life of a peer or youth in a positive manner. The Volunteer Leader Mentoring Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Photo of Michelle Sawyer-Volunteer Leader Mentoring awardee
Recipient: Michelle Sawyer, Sonoma County

Michelle Sawyer earned this award for embodying a “4-H is about the kids” attitude and her unwavering support of the 4-H members in her county. On top of being an active project member, county council member, and club leader for over ten years, Michelle has been a confidante and friend to many members. She always pushes youth to demonstrate and test their skills at events, both within and outside Sonoma County. Michelle goes above and beyond to encourage and inspire youth at 4-H camp, fair auctions, community service projects, and countless other events.


The 2022 Emerging 4-H Leader Golden Clover Award

The Emerging 4-H Award recognizes a volunteer with five or fewer years of excellent 4-H volunteer service in the 4-H Youth Development Program. The Emerging 4-H Leader award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Photo of Elizabeth McWhorter, Emerging 4-H Leader
Recipient: Elizabeth McWhorter, Alameda County

Elizabeth McWhorter earned this award for her broad range of contributions to the 4-H program at the state and county levels. In 2020, Elizabeth joined 4-H and has provided excellent service in just 2 years! Her service on the State 4-H STEM Education Advisory Committee led her to promote youth engagement in STEM and STEM-related careers at various events, including the State Leadership Conference and State 4-H Field Day. Elizabeth's county work includes Alameda County Ambassador Co-Advisor, Countywide Career Exploration project leader, and co-planner for several events and fundraisers. Elizabeth exemplifies dependability, competency, and commitment to 4-H and its members.


The 2022 Collaboration & Outreach Golden Clover Award

The Collaboration & Outreach Award recognizes individuals or groups who increase awareness of the 4-H Program with communities that are new to 4-H. The Collaboration & Outreach Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Photo of Nature Explorers Camp-Collaboration & Outreach awardee
Recipient: Nature Explorers Camp, Santa Clara Count

The Nature Explorers Camp earned this award by increased interest in environmental education through a 5-day 4-H day-camp for Latinx children in K-3rd grade. Camp teen and adult leaders worked to promote the camp and provide Spanish translations for campers and their families. This camp partnered with several Cooperative Extension programs and other youth-serving programs. Each partner group led one day of activities, ranging from Project Learning Tree to Valley Water and “Veggielution” field trips.



The 2022 Civic Engagement Golden Clover Award

The Civic Engagement Award recognizes a group or individual for contributions that demonstrate living the definition of civic engagement: working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. The Civic Engagement Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Photo of Civic Engagement Academy Planning Team -Civic Engagement awardee
Recipient: Civic Engagement Academy Planning Team, Statewide Team

The Civic Engagement Academy Planning Team earned this award by planning and hosting the one-time, five-day Civic Engagement Academy. This statewide conference was organized in under three months. Both youth and adult delegates learned more about civic engagement and how to make a difference in their communities. The delegates developed a community service-learning project to ignite positive change in their counties. 




The 2022 Special Event Group Award Golden Clover Award

The Special Event Award recognizes a member and/or volunteer for individual leadership roles within 4-H camps, conferences, and trainings. This award is given to a group for outstanding educational events or activities that involve youth-adult partnerships in planning and delivery, reach a wide array of youth, and strive to meet local needs. The Special Event Award is sponsored by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation.

Public Speaking & Communications Advisory Committee Special Event Award
Recipient: Public Speaking & Communications Advisory Committee

The Public Speaking & Communications Statewide Advisory Committee earned this award for their research and programming to support 4-H'ers to learn and practice skills, improve attitudes toward public speaking, and strengthen self-efficacy. This committee was formed in 2020. In just two years, they have coordinated regional and state public speaking events, activities, research, and evaluation. This committee of 26 members has greatly aided the California 4-H program to help youth improve their public speaking confidence and abilities.





Learn more about the 4-H Golden Clover Award, eligibility standards, and award categories.