A committed 4-H agent, respected leader and friend to many, Dr. Steven Alden Hilliker left a lasting impact on the 4-H program. His colleagues with the National and Florida Associations of Extension 4-H Agents established the Alden Hilliker Scholarship in his memory following his untimely passing in 1997. FAE4-HA and Florida 4-H remember him each year as they recognize an outstanding graduating 4-H’er.
Alden was involved with 4-H as a youth in Vermont and received his master’s degree from the University of Vermont. He completed doctoral studies at the Ohio State University, and then would go on to serve as an extension professional in Kentucky and Florida along with his wife, Dr. Jo Ann Hilliker. Alden served as a 4-H State Specialist working with programs such as 4-H Congress. In his personal time, Alden raised prize-winning basset hounds, competing in conformation, obedience and field trials.
Alden was committed to partnerships with county 4-H faculty through the Program Development Committee, and mentoring agents. Dr. John Rutledge, his colleague at Florida 4-H State Headquarters, recalls Alden’s willingness to help others by sharing his own challenges as a young extension professional, especially a particular Embryology Project. Alden took an empathetic and supportive approach to his work.
“Alden was a great mentor and champion for me during my doctoral studies. He was a kind, gentle man, dedicated to supporting agents in their pursuit of higher education.” Mary Williams
A graduating 4-H member is awarded the scholarship each year for any field of study at an accredited two or four-year college or university. 4-H Senior Portfolios for scholarships are due June 1; interviews and announcements will be during July’s 4-H University program. 4-H members can view more information about the scholarship and portfolio process here.
You can view the full list of Florida 4-H scholarships here. If you are interested in supporting an existing scholarship, creating a new scholarship or impacting Florida’s youth through 4-H, please contact Caylin Hilton at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352.392.5432.
4-H is the youth development program of the land-grant university system and Cooperative Extension System. The program provides hands-on educational programs and experiences for youth ages 5-18 with the objective of developing youth as individuals, and as responsible and productive citizens. In Florida, 4-H is administered by UF/IFAS Extension and Florida A&M University. Florida 4-H scholarships are managed by the UF and Florida 4-H Foundations, 501(c)3 organizations.