YAKIMA, Wash. -- Some of Yakima County’s outstanding children and youths got their turn in the spotlight during the 25th annual Yakima Youth Awards ceremony Monday at Eisenhower High School. Nominees included individuals and groups, ranging from ages 5-19 as of Dec. 31.
Here are the winners with a summary of their accomplishments:
Arts: Outstanding involvement in performing, visual or literary arts
Rachel Ball, 16, of LaSalle High School
Ball plays the flute in LaSalle’s concert band, piccolo in the pep band and French horn “for fun.” She serves as president of LaSalle’s Tri-Music Honor Society and coordinated afterschool service projects on behalf of the group with Northwest Harvest.
Sierra Hutton, 17, of Eisenhower High School
Hutton enjoys performing in music, dance, drama and choreography. She has acted, sang, danced, directed and choreographed productions at Eisenhower, Yakima Valley College, Melody Lane Singers and Broadway Bound Dance Academy. She also is a writer and director, producing articles for Unleashed in the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Business/Enterprise: Developing career and/or business skills
Grace Hawley, 18, West Valley High School
Planning for the goal of opening an Etsy store with her sister, Hawley created numerous works of art in pen and ink using the Zentangle method, which focuses on creating images by drawing structured patterns. The Etsy store, Pen & Ink Artists, features prints of her art and notecards. All sales proceeds will go toward Hawley’s college expenses.
Civic/Community Service: Giving of one’s time and talent to improve the community
Katlyn Shockey, 18, West Valley High School
Shockey has served as a volunteer, office assistant, outreach worker and lead teen teacher for Washington State University Extension, the 4-H development program, and Youth Advocates for Health for several years. She has been a positive influence for hundreds of youths through her mentoring and teaching about healthy living.
Leadership: Guiding others to a positive goal through education or example
Olivia Lochridge, 12, West Valley Middle School
Due to Lochridge’s quick thinking and leadership, she was able to save the life of a friend. While playing by a creek with a group of children, her friend slipped and fell, causing a sharp branch to pierce her chest. Lochridge kept her friend calm, placed her in the recovery position and sent other children for help.
Personal Achievement: Getting through or beyond personal obstacles with courage, initiative and determination
Rachel Christensen, 17, Eisenhower High School
Christensen grew up with an older brother, Justin, who was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Tragically, Justin fell gravely ill in November 2017 and later died in her arms. Christensen is working to establish a new Unified Sports Team at Eisenhower where able-bodied and differently abled people play together equally.
Small Group: 10 members and under
West Valley High School Drama Club Council: Haley Biegler and Megan Salset, seniors; and Ryan Jones and Matthew Blanchard, juniors.
These four dynamic students gave of their time and talents to allow more than 80 fifth- and sixth-grade students the experience and art of producing a play, culminating in their production of “Alice in Wonderland.” Not only did Biegler, Salset, Jones and Blanchard do the work of producing a play; they also taught, encouraged and helped students learn more about the art and craft of theater.
Large Group: More than 10 members
Association of Washington Student Leaders Conference Organizers and Wide Hollow Elementary K Kids
The Association of Washington School Leaders Conference Organizers is a group of 25 young adults who broadened their leadership skills by collaborating to coordinate an all-state youth leadership conference over the course of three days in October.
The Wide Hollow Elementary K Kids group is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of West Valley. Under the direction of two teacher advisers, 38 students have made significant differences in their school and the community through a variety of service projects, including collecting nearly $1,000 for a children’s cancer foundation.