The National 4-H Council has awarded Clyde Van Dyke, an 18-year-old student from Johnson City, New York, the National Youth In Action Award for 2019. For his work in using technology for community support and action, Clyde has also been also awarded the HughesNet®-sponsored Youth In Action Pillar Award for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). As the winner of both awards, Clyde will serve as 4-H’s lead youth spokesperson for activism and STEM in the coming year.
The Impact of 4-H
Clyde gives 4-H credit for providing him with the focus and tools that he needed to succeed after a difficult childhood. After losing his mother at a young age, he was told that he would not be able to move past the challenges he faced. When a friend brought Clyde to a 4-H technology club meeting, he felt like he was getting back onto the right path. “Without 4-H, I would’ve slipped through the cracks. 4-H gave me the motivation and resources I needed to overcome the mindset that I couldn’t succeed,” Clyde says. “Now, I show other kids the path for success and what they can gain in 4-H, too.”
Mapping Our Communities
Throughout his 4-H experience, Clyde started literally mapping out the future of technology. At the encouragement of his teacher, he joined the Broome County 4-H Geospatial Mapping Club, which teaches its members how to use technology to create maps and visualize data. Clyde decided to use the skills that he learned to make communities like his better. Now, as a member of the National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership team, Clyde has created several maps that are helping people better understand issues such as the drug overdose epidemic. His maps chart epidemics as well as their contributing factors and can help us better understand the factors that lead to the growth of these issues.
Clyde doesn’t stop there; he has also created a map to guide others to the same success and activism that he has achieved. He now regularly teaches workshops on using geospatial mapping to track community issues and enact real change. National 4-H Council president and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo remarked, “Clyde’s story demonstrates the powerful and positive impact a caring, adult mentor can make in the life of a young person. When given the tools they need to lead, 4-H’ers like Clyde are becoming the next generation of changemakers in their communities and for our country.”
Youth In Action Award
As the Youth In Action Award winner in both the overall and STEM pillar categories, Clyde will continue to lead and mentor his peers as a national 4-H representative. He joins 3 of his fellow Youth In Action award winners: Addy Battel of Michigan (Agriculture), Mason McClintock of Georgia (Civic Engagement) and Elisabeth Watkins of California (Healthy Living) in representing 4-H nationwide. You can visit 4-H.org to read their stories.
HughesNet and 4-H STEM
HughesNet is the founding sponsor of the 4-H Youth In Action STEM Pillar Award and has acted as a 4-H STEM partner for the past 6 years. "Clyde has demonstrated an authentic passion for applying STEM skills to solve real-world problems," says Peter Gulla, senior vice president of marketing for Hughes. "We are proud to support him on his journey to continued success in STEM and in life. We are equally proud to work together with 4-H to continue broadening young people's access to STEM education in an increasingly technology-dependent world."