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U of M Extension youth development leader named recipient of award for education excellence

Media contacts: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension,, (612) 625-0237

ST. PAUL (10/24/2012) —Dorothy McCargo Freeman, Associate Dean for the center for Youth Development with University of Minnesota Extension, learned on Oct. 13 that she is a 2012 WEM Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in Education recipient, an honor that is accompanied by a $10,000 award.

Freeman is one of seven educators being honored by the WEM Foundation and Synergy & Leadership Exchange for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to student learning. She is this year's recipient of the WEM Foundation's statewide Excellence in Education, which recognizes superior contributions of educators whose leadership and dedication inspire a spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities outside the traditional education system and classroom.

Freeman has more than 30 years of experience working with staff, children, youth, and families. She holds a Ph.D. in human development with an emphasis in adolescent development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Prior to joining University of Minnesota Extension, Freeman worked for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Freeman gets excited about the influence positive youth development programs, such as 4-H, can have on the trajectory of young people. She has spent her career engaging young people in their own learning so that they may gain their own sense of hope, will, purpose, competence, and fidelity.

Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration to advance the development of ethical citizens, providing educational resources, and celebrating achievement and best practices in Minnesota schools, businesses and communities.

For more information on the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program and Synergy & Leadership Exchange, visit: For more information about Extension, visit

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