Hard work, leadership roles produce awards for youth
In its second annual Youths of the Year ceremony, the Optimist Club of Yavapai County honored a Chino Valley middle school and a Prescott Valley high school student at its May 6 Youth Appreciation Evening at the Prescott Valley Public Library.
Nominated by their teachers, Edward Umana, seventh-grader at Heritage Middle School in Chino Valley and Elizabeth Kruse, 2015 graduate of Bradshaw Mountain High School, earned the award and $50 and $100 respectively.
The Club received nominations from Bradshaw Mountain High School, Northpoint Expeditionary Academy, Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, Glassford Hill Middle School, Prescott Mile High Middle School, Heritage Middle School, and Skyview School.
Youth Appreciation honors students who are good citizens, support other students, are active in their community, have demonstrated leadership and have overcome challenges.
Edward joined Heritage Middle School this year from El Salvador, where his parents and younger siblings still reside; he lives with other relatives in Chino Valley.
His teachers say Edward is responsible, accountable, trustworthy and full of curiosity. He is an honor student and National Junior Honor Society nominee.
Edward makes the right choices even when he thinks no one is watching, his teachers said. He is active in his church and chooses to lead groups, teach others, and help translate for other bilingual students. He makes the school a better place.
Elizabeth has taken five Advanced Placement classes; she was on the Student Council; served as vice president of Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society; served as president of S Club and treasurer of the National Honor Society. She was the student rep on Bradshaw's site council and was a Girl's State participant.
Elizabeth has worked hard, and she will attend Michigan State University on a full scholarship next year.
For more information about the Youth Appreciation Program, call Dr. Butch Miller at 928-277-6974, or visit: www.optimistclubofyavapai.org.