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Melissa Voynich, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System coordinator for Dale County, received the 2023 Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce Community Involvement Award Feb. 22, at the Ozark Business Excellence Awards.

Voynich said the award is indicative of the work Dale County Extension does in the community.

“We were so excited to receive this award because it reflects the amazing contributions of our whole team,” Voynich said. “We are all proud to serve this area.”

In the past calendar year, Dale County Extension professionals helped thousands of youths and adults in at least two to three programs per week. The office reaches 3,000 each month with newsletters and newspaper articles, as well as interacting with residents every day through phone or walk-in services. While assisting more than 750 youths in grades 4 through 6, they visited every school in Dale County, one Ozark City School, the Boys and Girls Club, and other community gatherings as requested.

Pictured from left to right: Dale County Administrative Associate Zandi Foss, Miss Ozark and Chamber Ambassador Savannah Pedroza, Dale County Extension Coordinator Melissa Voynich, and EFNEP agent Abigail Shehee.

The following is the mission of the Alabama Association of Extension 4-H Agents:

  • To promote the profession of Extension 4-H and youth development.
  • To encourage the professional improvement of all members.
  • To promote Extension 4-H and youth work as a professional career.
  • To provide for the exchange of ideas, methods, and techniques within Extension and with other professional youth organizations.
  • To promote understanding, communication, and cooperation among all Extension personnel.
  • To support and cooperate with the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, Inc.
  • To strengthen communications and cooperation with the existing Extension Associations.

The National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) is the professional organization for those dedicated to promoting, strengthening, enhancing, and advocating for the 4-H youth development profession. The National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals is an internationally recognized, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of professional youth development educators. NAE4-HYDP is one of the largest professional associations for youth development workers with a diverse membership of nearly 4,000 youth development professionals.