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Outreach Development News
As the Pennsylvania 4-H organization celebrates its 100th birthday this year, it is trying to change long-held perceptions.
“4-H is not just about farming,” said Chelsea Folmar, a 4-H member and student at DuBois Area Senior High School. “We have branched out and are trying to prepare children for the real world. No matter what their interests are, they learn how to find their own strengths and build on them.”
One of 4-H’s innovative programs in recent years is a robotics club, where students build a functional robot by working together as a team. Students were also responsible for the business side of the competition, which included managing the public relations, building a website and designing a T-shirt.
Students in the club learned to use deductive reasoning to make decisions, said Eric McGinnis, head of fundraising for the Pennsylvania 4-H and Penn State Cooperative Extension.
“Our future in the United States is learning science, technology and engineering -- and that is where 4-H is focused and poised for the future,” McGinnis said.
Pennsylvania 4-H programs are made possible by donations from members of the public.
To learn more about the great things that 4-H is doing and how you can contribute, watch this video:
“We are both first-generation college graduates,” said Dan Mazur. “Penn State has made a difference in our lives, and we want to make a similar significant impact in students’ lives. Our experiences with Penn State Outreach programs made us aware of the needs of adult learners and helped us focus our gift plans.”
Agnes Mazur added, “For individuals who don’t go to college and then find they can’t support their families on what they are earning, higher education can be the answer. We want our gift to help these adults earn a Penn State degree.”
The Mazurs have turned their passion for helping adults attain a Penn State degree into a major estate gift to Penn State Outreach. These Penn State alumni from Palmyra, Pa., will establish the Dan and Agnes Mazur Family Adult Learner Scholarship in the World Campus, Penn State’s online campus.
Penn State defines adult learners as 24 years old or older; a veteran of the armed services; an active-duty service member; returning to school after four or more years of employment, homemaking or other activity; or having multiple adult roles, such as a parent, spouse/partner, employee and student.
Like many traditional-age students, adults often need financial assistance to complete a degree.
“We are extremely grateful to Dan and Agnes Mazur for their very generous commitment to Penn State adult learners,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach. “It will provide invaluable support to adult learners balancing multiple responsibilities as they pursue their education.”
Adults living in 20 Pennsylvania counties who are enrolled in World Campus online undergraduate education programs will be eligible for the annual Mazur scholarship.
Dan Mazur earned B.S. in business logistics (1970) and M.B.A. (1971) degrees from Smeal College of Business. Agnes English Mazur earned a B.A. in French (1974) at Penn State and a master’s degree in elementary education at West Chester University. Daughter Kathleen is a Penn State graduate; son Patrick is in Smeal College’s MBA program; and son Timothy is a World Campus student.
Originally from Cresson, Dan Mazur spent 38 years in the railroad industry. He was vice president of strategic planning with Norfolk Southern at the time of his retirement in 2008. Dan Mazur has been a very active member of the Penn State Outreach Advisory Board for more than five years. Agnes Mazur, originally from Baltimore, taught elementary education in Chester County.
The Mazurs’ estate gift will expand financial aid opportunities for adult learners enrolled in the World Campus. Penn State Outreach currently offers the Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support, Fischer Family Scholarship, Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarship, Jane Ireland Student Fund Scholarship, Trustee Scholarship Program, and Alpha Sigma Lambda Program, as well as tuition assistance for military/veteran students.
Each February, thousands of Penn State students take part in the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, better known as THON, to help combat pediatric cancer. Many people know that students collect money and dance for 46 hours. But few realize how much year-round planning goes into this no-sitting, no-sleeping phenomenon.
For the first time ever, audiences will get a behind-the-scenes look at the largest student-run philanthropy in the world benefitting the Four Diamonds Fund when Penn State Public Broadcasting presents the documentary “Why We Dance: The Story of THON” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on WPSU-TV. A sneak peek can be seen at wpsu.org/thondocumentary.
That same night, the documentary will air across Pennsylvania on the following public television stations: |
-WVIA-TV in Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton at 8 p.m.
-WQED-TV in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m.
-WQLN-TV in Erie at 9 p.m.
-WITF-TV in Harrisburg at 9 p.m.
A live online stream will be available to viewers everywhere at 8 p.m. that same day at wpsu.org, posted to Vimeo, and YouTube, and through Comcast’s video on demand service.
The 60-minute television program introduces viewers to Four Diamonds families battling childhood cancer. It also follows Penn State THON student volunteers as they plan and carry out logistics for fundraising events and share special experiences with their adopted THON families throughout the year.
"Some people think that it’s just a dance party, but it’s so much more,” said Jeff Hughes, executive producer of the documentary. “Not only is raising money to combat childhood cancer a wonderful cause, it’s a powerful example of college students making things better for these families.” The money raised goes to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, which provides specialized care, financial assistance for medical expenses and cancer research.
Additional events will also take place in the weeks leading up the premiere, including screenings across Pennsylvania and in several midAtlantic cities hosted by the Penn State Alumni Association. For more information or to watch a trailer of the documentary, go to http://wpsu.org/thondocumentary online.
Since 1977, THON has raised more than $88 million.
Production of the documentary began in September 2010.
Penn State Public Broadcasting, licensed to Penn State, produces noncommercial television, radio and online media. Their public service media programming and complementary outreach materials address important societal issues for Pennsylvania, the nation and the world.