Iowa 4-H Foundation Awards 2013 Hills Bank and Trust Leadership Grants

From the Iowa 4-H Foundation

AMES, Iowa – Eighteen 4-H scholarships have been awarded by Hills Bank and Trust Co. The company gave $1,000 leadership grants to Iowa students who completed a 4-H leadership program during their senior year of high school. These scholars were selected during their junior year of high school and were recognized upon completing the program earlier this year. Each of these Iowa youth will be attending an accredited Iowa university, college or community college in fall 2013.

The Iowa 4-H Foundation awarded 77 college scholarships this scholarship season valued at $61,500, including the 18 scholarships awarded by Hills Bank and Trust Co. Leadership Grant Program. To find more information about the Hills Bank and Trust Leadership Grant Program and all Iowa 4-H Scholarships, visit the Iowa 4-H Foundation website,

Hills Bank and Trust Company Leadership Grant Recipients

  • Benton County 4-H’er Natalie Hanson is the daughter of Robert and Maureen Hanson.

“I enjoyed meeting the other recipients, because each person had a unique skill set to contribute to society,” Hanson said. A National Merit Scholar, president of her graduating class, a Northeast Iowa FFA Secretary and Benton County 4-H Council member, Hanson is excited for the challenge of college. As a leader of Union High School her most challenging position was serving as the Northeast District FFA Secretary for the last two years. Hanson called it a dynamic and inspiring environment that has influenced her future career. In the fall, Hanson is planning on attending Iowa State University to study biological systems engineering.

  • Benton County youth Ellie Horst is the daughter of David and Mary Horst.

As a member of her high school student council, Horst coordinated a fundraiser to raise money for her local food bank. The competition she created between grades sparked more involvement and raised more than $700 for the food bank. Horst also played a significant role coordinating events to raise money for the Aiming for a Cure Foundation. She organized a pledge program, a basketball shootout and a collection jar program at local businesses. Her skills raised more than $1,000 for the foundation.

“The Hills Bank Leadership program challenged me to grow as a leader and as a person, and I am very thankful to have been chosen to participate in the program,” Horst said. In the fall, she plans to attend Loras College with an undecided major.

  • Cedar County youth Collin Cochran is the son of Craig and Angie Cochran

“The Hills Bank leadership training program has taught me what type of leader I am, and I now know I can pursue a career that requires leadership,” Cochran said. During high school he found himself as a leader in the marching band, concert band, jazz band and show choir band. One of his favorite high school leadership memories is from homecoming week. Cochran and a few of his fellow students took the initiative to create a competition to raise donations for their local animal shelters. By the end of the competition, Cochran had a van full of food and supplies donated from his classmates, local grocery stores, pet stores and veterinarian clinics. Cochran is planning to attend the University of Northern Iowa to major in biology.  

  • Iowa County youth Megan Kaestner is the daughter of Bill and Denise Kaestner.

Kaestner experienced the expectations of representing her peers early on. During the past four years she was the vice president of her class, a student council representative, an Iowa All-Academic athlete in cheerleading, volleyball, track and softball, and a 2013 Governor Scholar Award recipient. A Marengo Recreation Commission Athletic Camp volunteer for the last six years, she also found enjoyment as an Iowa Valley Youth Tournament volunteer. In the fall, Kaestner will be attending Wartburg College with an undecided major, but will receive a minor in Spanish.

“The Hills Bank leadership training program helped reinforce the qualities and expectation of continued leadership roles in my future,” Kaestner said. “It was a great experience.”

  • Johnson County youth Shanea Condon is the daughter of Diane Condon.

Condon said she has tried to “lead by example.” This mantra has helped her keep a positive attitude and assist her younger classmates in color guard, band, interact club and the student council at Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin. She was an Academic Decathlon state competitor and a member of the National Honor Society.  

“I would one day like to become a physician and participate in Doctors Without Borders,” she said. “The trainings and discussions I received from Hills Bank and Trust will certainly help my future endeavors.” Condon will attend the University of Iowa in the fall to major in biology and minor in anthropology.

  • Johnson County 4-H’er Elizabeth Hubing is the daughter of Mark and Patricia Zander-Hubing.

“The Hills Bank Leadership training program has helped me figure out what kind of leader I am, and how I can use this to continue improving my leadership skills,” Elizabeth Hubing said. She has been active both in her school and in the Iowa City community through her local 4-H club, her school’s buddies program, her school’s interact club and her local Ronald McDonald House. Hubing has been the secretary, vice-president and president of her 4-H club. She was a member of City High’s volleyball and tennis teams and a basketball manager. During her four years of high school she received All-Conference, All-District and All-State in volleyball. Hubing is planning to attend the University of Iowa with an undecided major.

  • Johnson County 4-H’er Shannon Koppes is the daughter of Randal and Elizabeth Koppes.

As a City High Ambassador chairman, Shannon Koppes paired up every first grader with an ambassador. She enjoyed the logistical challenges of finding set-up times between the high school members and first graders, while also planning a couple group activities. She was a member of the East Lucas Clovers 4-H Club and served as the vice president for the last three years. Koppes also has received a Girl Scout Bronze Award and the Presidential Service Award.

“Because of the Hills Bank Leadership program, I met many other great students from Eastern Iowa, and from them I have learned that leadership can take on many different forms,” she said. Koppes will be attending the University of Iowa to major in pre-medicine.

  • Johnson County 4-H’er Gabriel Lorack is the son of Todd and Jill Lorack.

Being named the starting varsity quarterback for his football team as a sophomore forced Lorack to step into a leadership position. He didn’t feel fully prepared for all the responsibility that came with the title, but his perseverance erased his doubts of his leadership skills.

“The Hills Bank Leadership training program has given me more confidence in myself,” Lorack said. His success in high school sports propelled him to become a basketball quarter-finalist, a state track qualifier and an Iowa All-Conference basketball and track member. Lorack became the treasurer of the Prairiemasters 4-H Club and an active member of the National Honor Society, which, according to Lorack, gave him many leadership roles within the community and Lone Tree High School. In the fall he will attend Iowa State University to major in agricultural engineering.

  • Johnson County youth Kristen Turnquist is the daughter of Robert and Joni Turnquist.

Turnquist said one of her major accomplishments was creating a Fellowship of Christian Athletes her sophomore year at West High School in Iowa City. The organization has vastly grown in the last two years she has served as president.

“The Hills Bank Leadership program has provided valuable communication skills training for me to be an effective leader in FCA,” she said. “These communication skills will be helpful in my future endeavors.” During her high school career, Turnquist was in cross country, soccer, cheerleading and band. She is a National Honor Society and also will be majoring in English at Iowa State University in the fall.

  • Keokuk County youth Alex Shadley is the son of Terry and Angela Shadley.

“Through the Hills Bank and Trust program I have been able to improve my public speaking and communication skills, and now I try to implement them in everyday conversations,” Shadley said. He was a choir, drama, National Honor Society, competition speech, FFA and cross country participant during his high school career at Sigourney Junior-Senior High School. He was his Iowa FFA chapter president, while also being the vice president of the FFA Northwest Sub-District of the Southeast District. This position allowed him to present at workshops, lead conferences for district members, attend chapter visits and host the 2013 district FFA convention. In the future he plans to run for a state office in Iowa FFA. Shadley plans to double major in agronomy and geology at Iowa State University.

  • Keokuk County 4-H’er David Wehr is the son of Larry and Rhonda Wehr.

Wehr said he will always remember when he volunteered as a coach for the FIRST LEGO League team in his area.

“I was able to pass on my knowledge of programming and design to junior high school students to hopefully get them interested in STEM related fields,” Wehr said. During his high school career he was in band, drama, 4-H and the Virtual Reality Education Pathfinder organization. He has served as his 4-H club president and the National Honor Society vice president.

“The Hills Bank and Trust program has shown me how important successful leadership techniques can be in motivating people,” Wehr said. He will attend Iowa State University in the fall to study computer engineering.

  • Linn County youth Alison Givens is the daughter of Andy and Jody Givens.

Givens is the founder of an organization called The Voice that teaches students to be strong, stand up and use their voice to reduce bullying in her elementary schools. Givens has documented more than 200 hours of community service during her time as a student at Lisbon High School. During her high school career she was involved in softball, basketball, National Honor Society and her student council. She is a Governor’s Scholar Award recipient, honoring her for academic achievement for the last four years.

“I learned so much about leadership characteristics and ways to better myself as a leader in this program,” she said. “There were also many great ideas shared and new friendships made.” Givens will major in nursing in the fall at Coe College.

  • Linn County youth Reggie Schulte is the son of Duane and Sherry Schulte.

The team captain of his football and basketball teams, Schulte also participated in baseball and track at Xavier High School. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Xavier Ambassadors. During his high school career he participated in the National Council on Youth Leadership, Xavier Panel on Leadership, the Pursing Victory with Honor Summit and the Iowa Pride Academy.

“I learned that there are many great leaders that I can strive to be like at the Hills Bank and Trust Co. Leadership program,” Schulte said. “I also learned so much from other great leaders that participated in the program.” In the fall, he plans on attending the University of Northern Iowa to major in math or pre-dentistry.

  • Muscatine County youth Shelby Martin is the daughter of Gregory and Michelle Martin.

Martin participated in her community’s Treats for Troops program, which includes activities such as sending goods to local troops overseas. She also helped the program hang red, white and blue ribbons around town and other miscellaneous tasks. Recently she began volunteering at the University of Iowa hospitals. During Martin’s high school career she has been involved in American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, National Council on Youth Leadership, softball, track and cross country.

“The Hills Bank Leadership program taught me time management strategies, what to expect in college and about public speaking, which has become, and will continue to be, extremely valuable to me,” Martin said. She plans to major in radiation sciences at the University of Iowa.

  • Washington County 4-H’er Mitchell Hora is the son of Brian and Theresa Hora.

Hora has been a state wrestling qualifier, a member of the Washington County 4-H ELITE project team and a State 4-H Communication Project Award recipient. Holding numerous positions in both his local FFA and 4-H programs, he was class president at Washington High School, a member of the National Honor Society and chair of his prom committee.

“Through the Hills Bank and Trust Co. Leadership program I have become better in acting professionally and using my communication skills that will help me succeed in leading a group or a future business situation,” Hora said. He will study agricultural systems technology at Iowa State University in the fall.

  • Washington County 4-H’er Leah Parrott is the daughter of Evan and Kimberly Parrott.

“At the Hills Bank and Trust Leadership program I learned that leaders are those that see the potential in others, and that help develop that potential to its fullest,” said Parrot, a Mid-Prairie High School graduate. During her high school career she has been involved in 4-H, student council, FCCLA, National Honor Society, Small Town Heroes and the Mid-Prairie School Improvement Advisory Committee. In 2010 Parrott and other student leaders formed the Elementary Student Mentor Program. She considers the creation of the club one of her biggest accomplishments because of the benefits it provides to elementary students and the challenges it presents to high school students to serve as mentors. In the fall, she plans to major in agricultural business at Iowa State University.

  • Washington County youth Whitni Patterson is the daughter of Reg Patterson and Kim Strout.

Patterson said becoming involved at Mid-Prairie High School all four years and branching out to find different interests were the keys to her success.

“Now, through the Hills Bank and Trust program, I know how important being a leader truly is and all of the characteristics that go along with leadership, which are all assets for my future,” she said. Patterson was an active member of the student council and involved in FFA, FCCLA, prom committee, Dance Marathon Committee and yearbook staff. She was a member of the softball, basketball and volleyball squads. Patterson is planning on attending the University of Iowa to double major in business management and chemistry.