Brooklyn student wins 4-H Council’s highest honor
A college student from Brooklyn has won national recognition for her work in the community.
Kyra-Lee Harry, a freshman at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, has been named the winner of the National 4-H Council’s Youth in Action Citizenship Pillar Award for 2018.
It is the highest honor bestowed by the council.
Harry was cited for her role on Brooklyn’s Community Board Nine. When she was 15, she was named by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to serve as a board member. At the time of her appointment, she was the youngest person ever to be named to serve on a community board in New York state.
Community Board Nine covers South Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Wingate and parts of North Flatbush.
Harry, who will be awarded a $5,000 college scholarship, will be lauded at the National 4-H Council’s Legacy Awards event in Washington, D.C., on March 20. As part of winning the prestigious prize, she will have the opportunity to serve as a spokesperson for the 4-H Citizenship program.
The 4-H organization is a worldwide collection of local youth groups that works to improve the lives of young people. The organization encourages members to give back to their local communities. More than 50 countries have 4-H programs. The American program was established in 1914.
The four H’s are: head, heart, hands and health.
As a Community Board Nine member, Harry planned and organized the board’s First Annual Youth Forum, an event attended by more than 300 students from all over New York City.
The forum featured speakers talking about job opportunities for young people, workplace etiquette and career advancement.
Harry was also active in Medgar Evers High School during her days as a student there, founding and serving as president of the 4-H club. She led community service projects like the 4-H Million Trees endeavor and another effort to restore forests.
But her involvement with the 4-H Club began long before high school.
“My civic engagement began when I joined 4-H in the sixth grade,” she said in a statement. “Being able to show my peers that their voices are heard is my greatest accomplishment.”
Harry plans to pursue a career in business and technology management and she credits the 4-H Club with encouraging her to persevere through the challenges she faced with the Science, Technology, Math and Science (STEM) curriculum. The encouragement she received helped her create a path to college, she said.
“There aren’t of lot of people who look like me in STEM,” stated Harry, who is an African-American. “I had a lot of self-doubt and encountered some people who told me to give up. But I didn’t want statistics to deter me. The only true failure is when you stop trying.”
Harry is one of four students from around the country winning 4-H awards.
The other winners are: Sophia Rodriguez of Georgia, Cassandra Ivie of Utah and Serena Woodard of Oklahoma.
The 4-H Youth in Action Awards were established in 2010 to recognize 4-H members who have overcome challenges and have used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to work on community improvement projects.
For more information on 4-H, visit www.4-H.org.
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