Deb Schroeder

Admissions data processing coordinator

Deb Schroeder takes care of the admissions office computer system, and outside the office, she has helped nurture young people for 30 years as a 4-H volunteer.

In addition, the data processing coordinator coaches feature twirlers and majorettes, which she's been doing since her college days.

"It's not just livestock," she said of 4-H. Students can engage in a wide range of activities, such as finance, nutrition and community action, as well as livestock showing.

Deb got involved in 4-H as an adviser when her oldest son became a member at age 9. She now has some grandchildren who are 4-H members and others who are in the "Cloverbuds," who are 5- to 8-year-olds.

She has taught Cloverbuds and currently serves as head adviser for the Perry Blue Ribbon 4-H Club and Cloverbuds, a multi-project club.

Some of her fondest memories came from 13 years of spending one summer week working at 4-H camp, where she enjoyed teaching the children cooperation skills through trust games. "You've got to learn to work together with someone else who you may have just met," she said of the activities.

Those acquaintances can bloom into lifelong friends, Deb said. Her adult sons and daughter, longtime 4-H members, have friends they met through the program as youngsters. And those friends can come from all over the area, too: "It doesn't matter what school you go to," she added.

Last month, Deb and her husband were chosen as recipients of the Allen County Cattlemen's Association Outstanding Agricultural Service Award for their role as livestock superintendents and advisers at the county fair.

While she appreciates the recognition, she believes that every contributor should be recognized. "If we didn't have all the other volunteers, all the superintendents, we couldn't have done it," she said.

Thirty years later, Deb is still happy to be volunteering her time, and it's all because of the kids, she said.

"When they've worked so hard and receive a trophy or ribbon, they are so thrilled and proud of what they have accomplished," she said.

And, she added, she and her husband just plain enjoy it: "We stay in it because we love to help others."

Chay Reigle, public relations office