As Dr. Thearon McKinney retires from N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a new scholarship endowment is being created by his friends and family to honor McKinney and his wife, Vanette. The Thearon and Vanette McKinney American Youth Foundation Leadership Conference Scholarship Endowment was announced Sept. 7 at a retirement celebration for McKinney at the university’s JC Raulston Arboretum. The endowment is being created in the N.C. Agricultural Foundation Inc. in the College.
The new endowment celebrates McKinney’s 34 years of service, as he retires as professor and associate State 4-H Program Leader from CALS and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. During this time he has overseen the NCCES initiative for developing responsible youth and led the Youth Program Development and Delivery Team. Vanette McKinney has also been active over the years as a volunteer for N.C. 4-H events and the American Youth Foundation.
The endowment will provide opportunities for N.C. 4-H members to attend the American Youth Foundation Leadership Conference.
The American Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization with programs devoted to positive youth development. At its annual conference, held since 1925, young people ages 15 to 18 come together during a week of activities and learning experiences aimed at developing leadership skills needed to make a difference in their homes, schools, communities and the world.
The McKinneys have been affiliated with the AYF since their own college days.
The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities. – Terri Leith