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Naval Air Station Whidbey Island honors youth of the year

Captain Gerral David presents Amy Conner with a Youth of the Year plaque from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Boys and Girls Club. He also gave Conner one of his command coins.  - Photo courtesy of Melissa Haley
Captain Gerral David presents Amy Conner with a Youth of the Year plaque from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Boys and Girls Club. He also gave Conner one of his command coins.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Melissa Haley

The Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Boys and Girls Club recently honored Amy Conner with the Youth of the Year award.

Conner, a 16-year-old Oak Harbor High School sophomore, became a member of the club nine years ago at age 7. During her membership she’s been involved in many programs such as Torch Club, Smart Girls, Fine Arts and Keystone. She also volunteers much of her time within the club, at her church and in the greater community.

A member of First United Methodist Church, Conner painted murals in Sunday School rooms with the youth group. In June she will travel to Nashville and volunteer as a mentor at a vacation Bible school for children who have lost parents, something she can relate to. Conner was 12-years-old when her father died of a stroke. In July she will go on a mission trip to Arizona Navajo Reservation.

In the community, Connor has participated in Relay for Life for 13 years and is a “little sister” of “big sister,” Kathy Jones through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“Being selected Youth of the Year is the highest honor a club member can receive,” said Melissa Haley, NAS Whidbey Youth Activities program manager. “The award recognizes Amy’s outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.”

Connor credited the club’s support for her achievements.

“The club has helped me become connected to my community and people around me. I am learning how to be in charge of my life and be an inspiration to my peers and younger children,” she said at the May 6 awards ceremony.

“We at the Youth Center see her do that every day,” Haley said. “We are so proud of Amy and look forward to watching her achieve her goals, knowing she will continue to be connected to the world around her and share her time and talents wherever she goes.”

Conner will now advance to the state competition. If she’s successful at state, she’ll receive a plaque and $1,000 scholarship, then enter the regional competition. Five regional winners will each receive a $10,000 scholarship and enter the national competition held in Washington, D.C. The National Youth of the Year winner will receive an additional $15,000 scholarship and be installed by the President of the United States in an Oval Office ceremony.

Conner plans to pursue a career in Fashion Photography and aspires attend the Art Institute of Seattle.

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