America’s young people are its most precious resource. This is why, for many years, Exchange sponsored an impressive selection of activities designed to benefit and encourage our nation’s youth. Many of these richly rewarding programs are among the most popular and well-supported of all Exchange Club endeavors.
Recognition of a well-deserving youth could have an impact on his or her entire future. One National Youth of the Year Award recipient put it this way:
As a young man from an almost unknown town, the award proved to me that dreams can be reached. This award helped me to gain the necessary self-confidence to cope with the many hurdles associated with the acquisition of an education. It taught me that with hard work and support of others, the sky was the limit. I knew that my career aspirations could become a reality.
Exchange's Young Citizenship Award honors pre-high school students who daily demonstrate good citizenship both at school and at home. It does not necessarily seek to salute star scholastic or athletic performers. Instead, the program is designed to recognize and encourage youngsters who are honest, hard-working, helpful and fair. In practice, the Young Citizenship Award provides classroom teachers with an effective tool to further motivate promising students. It also provides Exchangites with an enjoyable opportunity to supply the encouragement that can be so vitally important in shaping the characters of youngsters at an impressionable time in their lives. The participating schools in the Young Citizenship Award are Roosevelt Elementary, Holmes Elementary, Stevens Elementary, Grant Elementary and Garlfield Elementary.
The Exchange Youth of the Year Program is presented every year in conjunction with the Nystuen $2500 scholarship to a Central Valley and a Lewis-Clark High School graduating senior, who is continuing on to college. One of the recipients is chosen to move on to Exchange Club Northwest District competition for a chance to be awarded an additional scholarship. Since the Nystuen Memorial Scholarships were instituted in 2007, five local recipients have been chosen as the Northwest District Youth of the Year and the $1,500 scholarship winner. The district winner is entered in the competition for the National Exchange Club Youth of the Year and $10,000 scholarship.
Two students from Havermill and two students from Rogers High School were honored with the A.C.E. award, Accepting the Challenge of Excellence, recognizing high school students who have made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance during their high school years. These changes have enabled the students to overcome adversities and prepare for graduation. Clubs may also submit their top A.C.E. Award winner to the district competition. Winners at the district level then have an opportunity to compete for the National A.C.E. Award.