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2011 4-H Scholarship Recipients

April 17, 2012

There are several scholarship opportunities available to Massachusetts 4-H youth.  The George L Farley Scholarship is awarded to deserving 4-H members (or former members) each year. Two new scholarships this year are the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship Honoring Equine Partnerships and the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarhsip Honoring Hands in Service. Massachusetts 4-H congratulates the deserving 2011 recipients of these scholarships. For more information about how to apply for these scholarships, click here.

George L. Farley Scholarship Recipients

The George L. Farley Scholarship was created in honor of the 4-H State Leader from 1916-1941. In his 25 years as 4-H State Leader, Mr. Farley is credited with making a significant impact on the lives of 4-H youth. He inspired young people across the state to believe in themselves, do their best and to strive for something better. The scholarship is available to former 4-H members who are currently enrolled at UMass Amherst.

Brieanna GreshBrieanna Gresh of Holyoke has been a 4-H member since the age of 11. In the Rock Valley Riders 4-H Club, Brieanna made a big impact through both her community service work and accomplishments in the horse ring. She showed her leadership qualities by serving as Vice President of the club and Horse Lover Division Show Assistant at the Regional Horse Show. An accomplished athlete, Brieanna was also a member of Holyoke High School’s Basketball, Softball and Volleyball teams, as well as being a member of the Mt. Holyoke College Interscholastic Equestrian Team.

But 4-H and athletics are not the only things Brieanna excels in – she maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school while carrying a challenging course load. Her list of academic accomplishments is as long as her list of athletic and extracurricular accomplishments.   Brieanna is a member of the National Honor Society and served as its’ Vice President. She has held positions on the Student Council, Student Athletic Council and served as Class President. She was awarded the Smith College Book Award, the Rising Star award and was on the High Honor Roll for all four years of High School.

Community Service is an important part of Brieanna’s life, both in and outside of 4-H. She has participated in the Holyoke Police Department’s Christmas Gift Giving program since she was 6 years old and volunteers at a therapeutic riding program, in addition to numerous other community service projects.

Excellence in achievement, community service, and leadership are the 3 recurring themes in all aspects of Brieanna’s life. “An outstanding student needs to possess exceptional characteristics beyond mere intelligence”. Brieanna opened her scholarship application essay with these words. She went on to say “There must be a commitment to maintain high standards both academically and in daily life. One must uphold a positive attitude, treat others fairly and possess strong moral values.” Clearly, when one reads Brieanna’s accomplishments, one sees that these are not just words, but the guiding force in her life. Her committment to Community Service also resulted in her being awarded the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship honoring Hands in Service.

We are confident that as she enters the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst in the fall, these 3 qualities will continue to guide her as she pursues her goal of becoming an Orthodontist.

Good luck, Brieanna, and congratulations on being awarded the George L. Farley Scholarship and the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship honoring Hands in Service.

Emily MessingEmily Messing of Townsend is an Operations Management major at UMass Amherst. She was a member of the Middlesex Mustangs 4-H Club for 9 years, and served as the club Treasurer, Reporter, Vice President, and President. Her love of horses brought her to 4-H, but she brought away so much more than experience showing horses. She attributes her strong public speaking skills to experience in the Visual Presentation program and had an opportunity to develop her leadership skills both as club officer and as a Counselor at 4-H Camp Middlesex.

Outside of 4-H, Emily is an accomplished singer. Participating in the Honors Choir and the National Music Honor Society, Emily had the opportunity to travel throughout New England performing. She has also been active in many community service projects including captaining a Relay for Life team each year of high school, serving as President of the Save Darfur Coalition and being on the Planning Board of her church’s youth group. This group prepared and delivered meals to nursing homes and homeless shelters weekly.

In addition to her community service volunteer activities, Emily also held an internship position with a veterinarian during her senior year of high school. She accompanied the vet on calls three days a week and learned a lot about large animal health. “The skills I learned during that internship are still useful to me every day when I am caring for my horse and others”, Emily has observed.

Emily’s educational and professional goals are to graduate with honors and continue her education in law school. She would like to pursue a career in environmental justice, believing it is “our responsibility to preserve the earth for generations to come.”

In her scholarship application, Emily wrote “I know that the lessons learned in 4-H will help me be successful in all aspects of life.” The 4-H program helped her grow up to be hardworking, competent, and compassionate, as well as caring greatly about giving back to the community.

As Emily continues on her path toward becoming a political and social advocate for the environment, we are sure that these attributes will help her in achieve her goals, and know that she will be a worthy recipient of the George L. Farley Scholarship. We wish Emily the best of success.

Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship

The Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarships are new this year, and were established in memory of the former leader of the Canterlopers 4-H Club of Hudson founded the scholarship fund as a way to reward 4-H'ers who contribute to their community and cherish equine parthmerships as a way to most honor her former club leader and to reflect her own experience in 4-H.

Abigail Coffin Abigail Coffin of Orange, MA has been awarded the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship Equine Parnership.  Abigail has a special bond with her AQHA registered Quarter Horse Leo's Impressive Moon, more affectionately known as "Bandit". Together, the two have faced challenges and overcome inexperience through hard work and dedication to one another. They now enjoy competing together at 4-H Shows. Bandit has taught Abigail a lot about perseverance and responsibility. She has and continues to work hard to be able to afford to keep Bandit and looks forward to their next chapter together. Abigail will be attending UMass Amherst.

Brieanna Gresch of Holyoke, MA has been awarded the Michelle M. Marsh Memorial Scholarship Hands in Service.