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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Lerblance inducted into Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame

STILLWATER, Okla. – When Lexie Lerblance started third grade at a new school, everything was new – new teachers, new friends and new after-school activities. Although she played sports, she was looking for something different at the time.

Lerblance, who lives in McAlester, said her mom encouraged her to join 4-H, and in the past 10 years she has never looked back. She became involved, she competed in events and she learned about public speaking, leadership and citizenship – and excelled.

And just recently she attained a goal she set for herself after attending her very first State 4-H Roundup several years ago. She was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame during the 95th State 4-H Roundup that took place recently at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. This is the highest honor at 4-H’er can achieve at the state level.

“Receiving this honor means that all of the triumphs and failures, the uncertainties and insecurities, the late nights and early mornings have been rewarded,” Lerblance said. “All of the accomplishments and failures have helped me gain experience and knowledge and helped develop my passion for this organization.”

Lerblance, who is a member of the McAlester High School 4-H Club, said she learned about public speaking and, although it is nerve-wracking, it was something she was determined to do. Even though her first speech competition went well at the local level, she discovered at the district contest she needed to hone her skills. This started her on a long path filled with public speaking experiences and helped her gain confidence in her abilities.

Giving back to her community also is something Lerblance has learned about as a 4-H’er. When she first became a Pittsburg County 4-H Ambassador, her 4-H educator, Greg Owen, told her she needed to develop a community service project and it should be something about which she’s passionate.

About that same time, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and through the course of chemotherapy, lost her hair. After seeing the struggles her mom was going through finding a wig to wear while going through treatment, the mother-daughter duo came up with the idea of opening a wig closet. The TLC Memorial Wig Closet, named in honor of Lexie’s grandmother, Teresa Lane Compton, opened in 2010 and is located at The McAlester Regional Health Center. They partner with the American Cancer Society and Lerblance also works in the community to raise awareness about this available service. All of the items, including wigs, turbans, hats and scarves, are free to those who need them. The TLC Wig Closet has given away more than $13,000 worth of head coverings.

Lerblance was recognized earlier this year for her community service project and was awarded the National 4-H Council Youth in Action Citizenship Pillar Award. She is only the second Oklahoma 4-H’er to receive this award.

Some of her other 4-H activities and honors include serving as a delegate to Citizenship Washington Focus, National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference. In 2014 she was named the state record book winner in the agriculture project. In addition, she was named the 2011 Outstanding Junior 4-H Member and was the recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community scholarship. She also has been named Pittsburg County Outstanding Showman.

At this year’s Honor Night Assembly during State 4-H Roundup, she was named the recipient of the Advanced Achievement Scholarship and the Oklahoma Youth Expo Scholarship.

In addition to serving as a county and state 4-H Ambassador, some of her other leadership roles include serving as president of her local club; county president, vice president and reporter; and Southeast District representative for the State 4-H Leadership Council.

Lerblance said she has learned so much through her 4-H career and is appreciative of all the support she has been given. She also hopes she’s been able to give something back.

“One thing 4-H teaches is that we should make the best better and to leave things better than we found them. Those are principles that I’ve hoped to make come true,” she said. “Our 4-H program in Pittsburg County is top notch and hopefully my involvement has had a positive impact in the program and will allow younger 4-Hers to realize that these rewards are attainable.”

Greg Owen, OSU Cooperative Extension 4-H educator in Pittsburg County, said he is proud of Lerblance for many reasons, but one in particular is her 4-H career has not been focused on herself.

“Lexie is focused on service to others in her community,” Owen said. “After the Honor Night Assembly I told her that thanks to all of her hard work, and the help of those 4-H members who came before her, she’d opened a door that had been closed in this county for a long time. She may be our county’s first Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame winner, but I truly believe she won’t be our last Hall of Fame winner.”

She is a 2016 graduate of McAlester High School where she served as salutatorian of her graduating class and will be attending the University of Oklahoma this fall with plans to major in marketing. She is the daughter of David and Ashley Lerblance.

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Cutline Information: Pittsburg County 4-H’er Lexie Lerblance was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Fame during the 95th State 4-H Roundup that took place recently at Oklahoma State University. She is pictured with her parents, David and Ashley Lerblance, and her brother, Zach. Mike Schrammel, far left, is representing Farm Credit Services of Oklahoma, the organization that supports the $2,500 scholarship Hall of Fame inductees receive. (Photo by Todd Johnson, Agricultural Communications Services)

Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)
trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

 

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000