(05/12/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — Two Louisiana 4-H volunteers recently received accolades from the National 4-H Council for their tireless service to the organization.
Timothy D. Williams, of Bienville Parish, was named the 2022 National Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer in the Southern Region, and Vibriyogn Epuri, of East Baton Rouge Parish, was named the 2022 National Volunteer of the Year for the Southern Region.
The mission of 4-H is to provide opportunities for youth and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. This is accomplished in three primary areas: civic engagement and leadership, healthy living and science.
The 4-H website praises Williams for 22 years of “actively working to create a more diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible program for Louisiana youth,” adding that “Timothy has helped low-income, high-risk youth from his community to recognize their talents and skills to make a better life for themselves and others.”
Williams received the award for his service in numerous 4-H leadership roles for more than two decades of service. As president of the parish foundation board, he has been instrumental at generating resources for his community.
Megan Martin, the Bienville Parish 4-H agent who nominated Williams, offered the highest praise for him and his successes that led to his award.
“Timothy has played a significate role in the Bienville Parish 4-H program as well as the school system for years,” she said. “He goes above and beyond to mentor the youth of Bienville Parish and is committed to providing opportunities for the students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to make positive changes in their communities.”
Martin’s sentiments were echoed by Tay Moore, current collegiate 4-H vice president and trustee to the board of the National 4-H Council. Moore is from Bienville Parish, where he participated in 4-H.
“From his years of service on the Bienville Parish 4-H Foundation to developing a leading dual-enrollment program through the Bienville Parish School Board, Mr. Williams believes in increasing all young people's access to positive opportunities,” Moore said. “There is no doubt that he epitomizes the character of a National Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer.”
Of Vibriyogn Epuri, the 4-H website says, “Through collaboration, teamwork and a love for STEM and technology, Virbriyogn’s leadership has allowed the club to develop community engagement and service-learning projects that have impacted hundreds of individuals and communities across the state.”
Epuri earned his award through his work with the 4-H Tech Club and national team leadership initiatives. His hard work in making his club inclusive and a safe environment for all youth, recognizing that each member has a unique fit for their skills and passions, set him apart from other nominees.
East Baton Rouge Parish 4-H agent Rochelle Wilking, who nominated Epuri, was thrilled to see him receive his due recognition with the National Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Vibriyogn has created, led and enhanced our program in East Baton Rouge Parish from mentoring youth, encouraging them to give back to their community, supporting youth, encouraging youth to reach their goals in their projects, helping them to find their spark and getting them ready for their career paths,” Wilking said.
Meggan Franks, 4-H youth development volunteer and leadership development specialist, praised Epuri’s “selfless service to Louisiana 4-H” and his strong belief in inclusiveness.
“Vibriyogn has done a tremendous job empowering youth to lead and serve,” Franks said. “He believes that every child has a place in 4-H.”
More about the awards and the recipients can be found at https://bit.ly/3vUG5WH.
Timothy D. Williams, of Bienville Parish, was named the 2022 National Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer in the Southern Region by the National 4-H Council. Photo provided by Timothy D. Williams
Vibriyogn Epuri, of East Baton Rouge Parish, was named the 2022 National Volunteer of the Year for the Southern Region by the National 4-H Council. Photo provided by Vibriyogn Epuri