YAKIMA, Wash. — The 20th annual Yakima Youth Awards honored those ages 5 to 19 who deserve recognition but don’t usually receive it.
Winners are picked by a group of judges from across Yakima Valley, who base their decisions on one-page nomination letters.
The winners, and a few tidbits from their nominations, follow:
ARTS — Shaunaly Hutton, 17, Eisenhower High School. Student of the Year in Drama, dance captain for “Annie Get Your Gun.”
BUSINESS/ENTERPRISE — Patrick Harris, 18, home-schooled. Saved money and started a vending machine company.
CIVIC/COMMUNITY SERVICE — Kim Dezellem, 17, West Valley High School. Volunteered to improve the communication skills of special needs children; Jessica Sauve, 16, Selah High School. Volunteers in support of a paraplegic who lives alone.
LEADERSHIP — Tyler Cluff, 18, West Valley High School. A diabetic, he cares for two younger brothers who also suffer from the disease and maintains many leadership positions at school and in the community; Emma Kloepfer, 13, Wilson Middle School. Became a “student teacher,” helping classmates and volunteers for numerous events.
PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT — Bella Gutierrez, 18, Yakima Online Program. Facing tragedy and obstacles, has become primary caretaker for her mother, who suffers from cancer, while excelling in school.
• West Valley Junior High Environmental Club Leaders: Helped restore fish runs; ran recyling drive; researching reducing school waste stream.
• La Casa Hogar U.S. Citizenship Test Volunteers: Helped people prepare for U.S. citizenship test.
• Apple Valley Patrol Students: Arrive at school early and leave late to ensure safety of classmates.
• Davis Migrant Student Leadership: Organized “Migrant Parents Night,” to help others.