Theresa K. Silm

Class Year: 2010

County: Eaton

Title: Children, Youth & Family Educator, Clinton County MSU Extension

“The most important thing about my 4-H experiences haven’t been things but rather that many people I have met and interacted with. The leaders, members, parents and other volunteers and supporters have touched my life in so many ways and have become some of my very best friends.”
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Theresa Silm has devoted her life to 4-H and youth. In 1977, after graduating from Michigan State University, she accepted a position as a 4-H program associate in Clinton County and later that year became the 4-H youth agent. Since 1989, she has served as the children, youth & family educator covering both youth programming and family education in Clinton County. During her career, Silm has worked with community partners to develop programs such as the HABIT Program for youth at risk, Tomorrows Leaders Academy for high school juniors, Clinton County 4-H After-school Program curriculum and training plan, programs for children and teens in foster care and both site-based and community-based formal mentoring programs. Currently, Silm co-chairs both the Clinton County Family Fitness Fest and the Foster Adoptive Resource Network and is a member of the Regional Child Care Resource Center Advisory Group for the Central Region. She has also served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, co-facilitated the strategic planning for the City of St. Johns, chaired the Clinton County Council for Prevention of Child Abuse, chaired the Clinton County Building Strong Communities Council and has taught Sunday School at St. Peter Lutheran Church since 1980. Additionally, Silm has been a 4-H volunteer for over 35 years, beginning as a 4-H volunteer in Eaton County and later recruited as a volunteer leader in her husband’s 4-H club. Silm has been honored for her efforts with the Clinton County Champion for Children Award, the Clinton County 4-H Council Friend of 4-H Award, the BSF Research Award, both the national and Michigan 4-H Distinguished Service awards, the DeWitt-Wallace Youth-at-Risk Award and was named the Outstanding Young Woman in Clinton County.