Thirty-two Washougal School District students earned Youth Achievement Awards from the Clark County Youth Commission.
The 16th annual county-wide celebration was held at Skyview High School last month and recognized the achievement of youth who demonstrate, “personal growth and community contributions.”
Awards are given in the following categories: arts, career development, citizenship, courage, education, environmental stewardship, family life, inspiration, leadership, personal achievement, sportsmanship, and tolerance.
Canyon Creek Middle School students honored are Shelby Brock for inspiration, Bridgette McCarthy for tolerance, Rebekah Muir for art, Dylan Patten for personal achievement and Jalen Watts for leadership.
“It is great that these kids are recognized for a variety of qualities, skills and personal progress,” said Michele Mederos, Canyon Creek Middle School and Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School counselor. “It helps the kids know what they are doing is good in the community and it influences others. With so many categories, you can award students that may not be recognized for more of the regular things like sports or academics. There is a diverse group of kids being honored.”
Cape Horn-Skye fifth grader Lily Chamberlain is being recognized for citizenship. When asked how she earned this award, she first said it came as a surprise.
“But I think it is because I am a good friend to everyone,” she said. “I like to help anyone I can.”
An example of her helpfulness was creating sample math problems for a friend who was struggling in math class.
“It feels awesome to be recognized and it is very nice that my teacher nominated me,” she said.
Patten admits that he used to annoy people to get their attention and that it didn’t get the response he wanted.
“But I figured out on my own that I needed to stop doing that and found that if I was just myself that it was easier to make friends,” he said.
“I was always friendly but I have learned some communications skills and can now talk more fluently to people. I was shy for a while.”
McCarthy, a CCMS eighth-grader, said she was not quite sure what it meant to be recognized for demonstrating “tolerance.”
“But it was explained that I am seen as being good at interacting with all types of people,” McCarthy said.
“I do try to accept all people for who they are and do not judge. I am a good listener.”
She added that by getting along with all people and bringing them together with a common goal you can accomplish great things.
“It is like band,” she explained. “When every piece comes together, you can accomplish something big and amazing. This recognition makes me even more confident. Now that I realize I have this skill I can use it more to listen to people and help make their day better.”
Recognized for her achievement in art, Muir, an eighth-grader, said she was surprised by the honor because she had always created for her own enjoyment.
“I am happy to know that someone else also enjoys it,” she said. “I must be doing something right. It feels good that others can see what I see, or even things I had not seen, in my work.”
Additional WSD honorees are: Shelby Brock, inspiration; Jalen Watts, leadership (CCMS); Katharine Byrd, inspiration; Emily Crabtree, education (CH-S); Roselynn Crawford, career development; Rachel Graham, career development; Kayla Head, arts; Anastacia Owens, family life; Randee Schneider, personal achievement; Casey Volgmann, courage (Excelsior High School); Michael Stevens, Leadership (Jemtegaard Middle School); Adam Krout, sportsmanship: Nick Stevens, arts; T. Anderson, courage; Joe Blair, inspiration; Tiffany Brock, courage; Sarah Clemans, courage; Savanna Engbrecht, inspiration; Kim Klein, courage; Ashleigh Kratzke, inspiration; EJ Mayer, courage; Yahaira Meza, Education; Ryken Scott, courage; Melia Rae Stewart, arts; James Stout, inspiration; Christina Zack, education; Nicole Gamble, career development; McLeod Turner, inspiration (Washougal High School).
The Youth Commission is a group of 30 youth from throughout Clark County, “dedicated to bringing the voices of youth into the community and raising awareness about the remarkable achievements made by youth year round.”