4-H and Youth Agent Karen Stamm Binder wholeheartedly committed her career to serving urban youth and communities through non-traditional programming in Milwaukee County.
Karen intrepidly expanded traditional 4-H programming with pioneering urban programs. By cooperating with the Milwaukee County summer job program for low-income youth, she helped train, support, and supervise 32 teens to teach foods and clothing projects at eight inner-city locations, serving nearly 300 youth each summer.
Karen also developed a pilot program for Marquette University nursing students to take a community experience nutrition course that included teaching foods and nutrition at a housing project. One of the goals of the course was to provide a setting for nursing students to increase awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences.
For a year, Karen was the first female 4-H agent in Manitowoc County and among the first women in the state with primary responsibility for a county 4-H and youth program.
Over the years, Karen has devotedly volunteered as a teacher in church youth education programs and chaired several church and school committees. She also served for several years as a Cub Scout den leader and Boy Scout troop newsletter editor and committee member.
After raising her family, Karen dedicated 10 years to teaching alternative school programs in the Milwaukee area for teenage parents and other students at risk of not graduating from high school. She also volunteered to gather information for the 2016 celebration of the 75th anniversary of Upham Woods and to prepare its historic materials for permanent storage in the University of Wisconsin Archives.