4-H Salute to Excellence Awards

Jamie Pierce

Jamie Pierce

Class Year: 2012

County: Ottawa

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Jamie Pierce has served as a 4-H volunteer and mentor for Ottawa County’s Journey 4-H Mentoring Program since January 2009. Through the program he has mentored two at-risk teens, the first only lasting a few months, but his current mentee has become nearly a two-year commitment, surpassing the initial one-year obligation. Jamie holds weekly meetings with his mentee where he supports the mentee in efforts to graduate from high school, explore employment options and engage in outdoor experiences including hiking, dune rides, ropes courses and stand up paddle boarding. Pierce and his mentee also help recruit new volunteers, present awards to other youth and mentors and serve on the Journey 4-H: The Outdoor Challenge Advisory Council to help guide the program and provide a voice for the mentors and youth. Pierce serves as business unit lead at Ventura Manufacturing in Zeeland. When his company began discussions to engage in mentoring opportunities he took the lead to begin a new partnership with MSU Extension and the Ottawa County 4-H Tech Wizards. Together MSU Extension, Pierce and his colleagues developed a site-based group mentoring program aimed at pairing at-risk youth interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics with professional adults in those fields. With his leadership, the program has grown to engage seven volunteers and 14 youth in the first year. In addition to recruiting for the program, Pierce also mentors two youth. Pierce has also helped guide the development of 4-H Tech Wizard programs in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Eaton counties.