Dr. Faustino Bernadett and his wife Martha are known for their love of animals and for giving back to their community. They have both done a lot of work with the National 4-H Council over the years, and were recognized in 2017 with the 4-H Alumni Medallion.
Most recently, they donated to the National 4-H Council’s Fourward campaign, for use toward COVID-19 impacted youth in areas where no broadband exists. They also donated 100,000 books to ensure kids get the reading materials they need to succeed. In an effort to mitigate the long-term economic impacts of COVID-19 on struggling families, Dr. Bernadett’s focus is on reaching children without access to the Internet or to educational resources while they are away from school.
In a recent letter dated May 5, 2020, Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council, thanked the pair for their generous gift and commitment to the youth of the nation.
“You stepped up to meet the needs of our nation’s youth, and we are enormously grateful. Thank you so much for your donation to our FOURWARD Fund. By accelerating the timing of your gift, you made sure we had the resources to respond immediately and effectively to the challenges kids are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You both care deeply about the social-emotional well-being of youth and I know that – during this time of instability and isolation – you’re more invested than ever. At 4-H, we know that caring adult mentors are an integral part of positive youth development and that these relationships are the most common factor in youth showing resilience in the face of challenges.
“With your gift, you are one of those caring adults. You are making it possible for youth to have what they need to thrive right now, and also showing them how much you care about their well-being during this uncertain time.
“We’re able to use your gift to reach all kids – regardless of access to school, 4-H or virtual curriculum – with skill-building activities that spark their love of learning. You are the reason we can connect youth with social-emotional support and a sense of belonging. Because of you, we can start to close the ever-growing opportunity gap for our nation’s youth. Thank you for coming alongside National 4-H Council as we empower kids and equip our 4-H partners to innovate, serve and adapt in this new landscape of education and connection.
“The world may have come to a standstill, but you’ve made sure that youth development moves forward. Thank you for your incredible generosity, your steadfast leadership, and your genuine friendship. We are so grateful.”
Ms. Sirangelo added a handwritten note at the bottom, saying “My heart is full of thanks for both of you, your friendship and your commitment to America’s kids.”
A History of Commitment to 4-H
Dr. Faustino Bernadett has a history of working with 4-H, thanks to a love of animals and a love of community. In 2017, he was given the 4-H Alumni Medallion. Not only is he a long-time supporter, he places importance on the organization itself. He was recognized as a California 4-H alumnus and for his work as co-founder of the Molina Foundation, which partners with thousands of community organizations nationally, including 4-H and Cooperative Extension. He works tirelessly to distribute millions of new books to children and families free of charge, supporting initiatives to improve the quality of life in communities across America.
4-H is proud to honor its young people, giving out four Youth in Action Awards to recognize those who exemplify what it means to be a True Leader in communities through agriculture, citizenship, healthy living and STEM.
4-H also finds tremendous value in its older members who have been with the organization since they were small themselves. At the Legacy Awards, 4-H recognizes 4-H Grown Alumni who, through the skills learned in 4-H, continue to impact lives and excel in their respective fields.
4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, empowering nearly six million young people across the country with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime. This “Community for Kids'' is delivered by Cooperative Extension, comprising more than 100 public universities across the nation that provide experiences where young people learn by doing.
For more than 100 years, 4-H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving kids a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. Since its inception, children of all ages have tackled critical societal issues, addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse, and advocating for equity and inclusion for everyone.
As a California 4-H alumnus, Dr. Bernadett seeks to give back to the organization that gave so much to him as a young person. This is what fueled him and his wife to donate to the National 4-H Council’s Fourward campaign and donate 100,000 books to underprivileged kids.