Rachel West, daughter of Carolyn West and the late Oran West, Drasco (Cleburne County), is the 2001 recipient of the Arkansas 4-H Governor's Award.
She received an engraved silver tray from the governor's office and a $1,000 scholarship donated by Joel Anderson, vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas, at Little Rock, and Arkansas 4-H Foundation board member, and his wife, Ann.
This award, the highest honor an Arkansas 4-H member can receive, was begun in 1983 to recognize an outstanding 4-H member each year. This honor, based on overall contributions to the 4-H program and on achievement in 4-H, is an outgrowth of West's commitment to helping others.
West and three other Arkansas 4-H members were selected as a governor's finalist based upon last year's record book of their work and governor's award application. Each finalist was interviewed by a panel of judges, including representatives from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension office, the governor's office and the business sector. Interviews were followed by a luncheon, with Gov. and Mrs. Mike Huckabee.
West was named winner at the Awards of Excellence Banquet, held at the Randal Tyson Center on the University of Arkansas campus, in Fayetteville.
A Cleburne County Extension agent characterized West as "intelligent, thoughtful and humble" and highlighted her ability to organize large projects with ease and then allow the project to stand on its own.
In a letter of recommendation for West, Mary Warren, adult leader of the Cleburne County 4-H Teen Leaders, states, "This person has achieved high goals through 4-H and will continue to set goals for herself as she continues life paths of college and volunteering for her community, country, and world to make the best better."
West's 4-H career is full of variety, honors and service. She was the designer of the state's last American Lung Association Christmas Seal. She is a charter member of Arkansas for Drug-Free Youth and has served on the attorney general's Youth Suicide Board. She has visited nursing homes and helped organize a Senior Citizens Prom, at the local retirement home. With a main project of citizenship, West was the project chairperson and instrumental in bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to Cleburne County.
She also was chairperson of the project to have her local club designated as a World War II Commemorative Community and led the Teen Leaders Club in being honored as a George Washington Bicentennial Community.