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Youth Association

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The Illinois Extension Professionals for Youth Education (IEPYE) promotes, strengthens, enhances, and advocates for the personal and professional development of Extension professionals programming and promoting for youth. We are the recognized network for Extension professionals who provide Extension programming and promotion for youth in Illinois. The Association positively impacts its membership by:

  • Encouraging professional improvement
  • Improving the general status of the Extension youth program
  • Providing leadership opportunities and recognition of its members
  • Increasing interest in Extension youth work as a career

Who may join?
Membership is open to any current professional employee of the University of Illinois Extension who is engaged in the delivery of educational programs, as well as retired Extension employees.  

IEPYE allows you to network with educators involved in 4-H work across the state by sharing ideas and developing partnerships. Professional opportunities are available to you through state workshops, webinars, committee work, and professional newsletters.

  • IEPYE members are the voice for all Illinois Extension staff members working with youth.
  • IEPYE members receive extra professional development training opportunities.
  • IEPYE members receive professional development funds.
  • IEPYE members are eligible for awards.
  • IEPYE members determine the direction and bylaw of our association

Membership is open to any current professional employee of University of Illinois Extension engaged in the delivery of educational programs, as well as retired Extension employees. 

  • Annual IEPYE dues are $25. 
  • Annual NAE4-HYPD (National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals) dues are $80.
  • Total dues for both organizations = $105

Registration questions? Please contact Alcha Corban.  Dues are due January 13, 2021.

News: Check out the recent newsletters. Submit newsletter items to Shelby Carlson.

Professional Development:  The Association meets as a state group twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall. Regional groups meet throughout the year to provide professional development opportunities. 

Board of Directors: Members are elected in the fall to serve as IEPYE board of directors. Current board members include:

  • Jamie Boas, president
  • Alcha Corban, vice president
  • Sara Marten, secretary
  • Martha Ebbesmeyer/Mydna Tracy (interim), treasurer
  • Kristi Stout, past president, Advisory Committee
  • Michelle Cox, northern regional director
  • Emily Schoenfelder, west central regional director
  • Mynda Tracy, east central regional director
  • Melissa Wilson, southern regional director, IL 4-H Foundation representative
  • Katie Duitsman, membership recognition committee chair
  • Myla Munro, professional development committee chair
  • Rachel Hazen, public relations and information committee chair
  • Deb Stocker, life member committee 
  • Shelby Carlson, newsletter editor

Awards: Youth professionals are encouraged to apply for awards which recognize their outstanding work and demonstrate scholarship and professionalism. 
Awards Questions?  Contact Katie Duitsman.
Online Awards Submission Deadline is March 2, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.  No late submissions will be accepted as the online system will close at that time.

Illinois Award Application Resources
National Award Applications Criteria and Score Sheets

  • COMMUNICATOR AWARDS recognize marketing and communication pieces, including news articles, presentations, news releases, blog posts, video promotions, and more!
    These are submitted ONLINE via the OpenWaters awards system.

    State, Regional & National Communication Awards 
    • Educational Package (Individual and Team)
    • Educational Piece (Individual and Team)
    • Exhibit
    • Feature Story
    • Media Presentation
    • News Story
    • Periodical Publication (Individual and Team)
    • Personal Column
    • Promotional Package (Individual and Team)
    • Promotional Piece (Individual and Team)
    • Published Photo
    • Radio Program
    • Video Program

  • SPECIALTY AWARDS recognize successful programming, innovative teaching methods, or new partnerships or audience reach in a variety of topic areas, including After-School Programming, Camping, Healthy Living, Urban Programming STEM, and many more! These are submitted ONLINE via the OpenWaters awards system. Some specialty awards involve a monetary prize as well (see full list for specific details.)

National Speciality Awards 

    • NAE4-HA Air Force Recruiting Salute Award
    • NAE4-HA 4-H/Army Youth Development Project Salute Award
    • NAE4-HA 4-H/Air Force Aim High Award
    • NAE4-HA 4-H/Navy "Pledge" Award
    • NAE4-HA Beyond Youth Leadership Award
    • NAE4-HA Diversity Award
    • NAE4-HA Educational Technology Award (Individual and Team)NAE4-HA Excellence in 4-H Club Support Award (Individual and Team)
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Teamwork Award
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Camping Award (Individual and Team)
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Natural Resources/Environmental Education Award (Individual and Team)
    • NAE4-HA Power of Youth Award
    • NAE4-HA World Citizenship in 4-H Youth Development Award
    • NAE4-HA Search For Excellence in Teen Programming Award (Individual and Team)
    • NAE4-HA Interactive 4-H Educational Web Site Award (Team)
    • NAE4-HA Dr. Jim Duncan Program of Distinction Award
    • NAE4-HA Denise Miller National 4-H Innovator Award
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Urban 4-H Programming Award
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Animal Science Programming Award
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Global Citizenship Programming
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in 4-H Volunteerism
    • NAE4-HA Excellence in Geospatial Programs

  • SERVICE AWARDS recognize association members who have achieved specific service/employment time for their professional achievements and program accomplishments! 
    Applications Available Online (ASA, DSA, MSA)
    • Achievement in Service Award application for staff with 3 to 7 years experience.
    • Distinguished Service Award application for staff with 7 or more years experience.
    • Meritorious Service Award application for staff with 15 or more years experience.
    • 25 Years of Service - Application available online.

    • State & National Service Awards include:
      • Achievement in Service Award
      • Distinguished Service Award
      • Early Career Award
      • Meritorious Service Award
      • Outstanding Program Award

  • FIRST TIMER SCHOLARSHIP assists first-time attendees in attending the national conference by helping to cover the cost of early bird registration. Apply online via the specialty award application.