Extension News

Cedar County 4-H'ers Receive Hills Bank and Trust Company Scholarship


AMES, Iowa – A $2,000 scholarship has been awarded to two Cedar County 4-H'ers, Emily Ciha and Matthew Mercer.

The Hills Bank 4-H Scholarship is awarded to as many as 20 students each year. The recipients, who apply during their junior year in high school, attend nine hours of leadership training sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company during their senior year. Afterward, they receive $500 per semester for two years. The scholarship may be used at any of Iowa's accredited universities, colleges or community colleges.

Emily Ciha, West Branch, is the daughter of Bill and Barb Ciha.  In high school, she participated in band, jazz band, show choir, the Bear Leadership Team, track and 4-H.  She earned recognition for the Hills Bank Youth Salute, Cedar Rapids Gazette Head of Class, DAR Good Citizen Award and the Quad City Times Salute to Academics and Achievements.  She also received state recognition as a State of Iowa Scholar.  She served as student body president, president of the Cedar County 4-H Youth Council and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program.

“After attending the training sessions, I learned just how important communication is,” Ciha said.  “I learned that if I want to be a successful physical therapist, I will need to communicate with everyone involved in order to give patients the best results.”

A recent graduate of West Branch High School, Ciha plans to attend Central College, majoring in exercise science.

Matthew Mercer, West Branch, is the son of Damon and Cheryl Mercer.  He has been involved with the Bear Leadership Team, served as a football captain and was a section leader in concert choir.  He has been recognized for his achievements as an Academic All-District-football student, Silver Cord recipient for community service and a community fundraiser. 

“The program gave me new perspectives on leadership and opened my eyes to how I can do things differently in the future, in relation to my leadership roles,” Mercer said.

A recent graduate of West Branch High School, Mercer plans to continue his studies at the University of Iowa, majoring in engineering.

In Iowa, the 4-H program is a part of Iowa State University Extension and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames. For more information about 4-H, how to get involved or how to apply for a 4-H Scholarship, contact the local county office of ISU Extension.


Contacts :

Mitchell Hoyer, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1531, mhoyer@iastate.edu

David Neff, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, dneff@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu