2017 - 2018 National Youth of the Year and A.C.E. of the Year Winners


 

2017 - 2018 National Youth of the year winner, Nathan layne Brown

THEME: "Strengthening America Through Socially responsible communities"


The 2018 National Youth of the Year Award goes to Nathan Layne Brown, sponsored by the Exchange Club of Sandy, UT, of the Rocky Mountain District.

 
This young achiever graduated high school in 2018 with a 4.0 GPA and a resume of accomplishments.


Personally submitted as his most outstanding achievement, Nathan was named the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Winner – placing him in the top 1% of students in the country! He learned of his standing as a finalist in February 2018, as the only student in his high school – and one of 15 in his school district – to receive the distinction. Nathan has been a member of the National Honor Society since his sophomore year of high school, serving as the Scholarship Co-President during the 2016-2017 academic year. As co-president, he helped fellow members maintain their grades and also assisted with service projects and club functions. He has also served as the president of his church’s youth group since the age of 13, participating in weekly activities, leading meetings, and helping direct service projects.


In addition to these achievements, Nathan has received the National AP Scholar Award with honors; achieved the rank of his Eagle Scout; participated on the USA Fencing All-Academic Team; earned status as an AutoCAD Certified User; been nominated at the state-level for Best Supporting Actor; received his local Social Science Sterling Scholar Award; earned a silver medal for honors speech in AD; received an academic letter III; and played the lead role of Lord Macduff in Macbeth.


Nathan has a two-year mission trip planned before continuing his studies in college.

 
IN HIS OWN WORDS ...
Strengthening America through Socially Responsible Communities

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Sometimes, this is interpreted as justification for the removal or neglect of weaker links. However, the more responsible approach is to support those that are weaker in order to create a stronger community. In America, the latter is much more common than the former. The United States was the largest monetary donor to the United Nations’ World Food Program in 2017. When the southeast was hit by successive hurricanes in the same year, humanitarians from all over the country went to the rescue. While I may not be delivering food to people in the Middle East or repairing power lines in Puerto Rico, I do help out in my community. Service has always been a part of my life. One of the earliset memories I have of service was when I participated in a service project for a family in Sandy. The father of this family had to resort ro amputation of his legs due to poor circulation from diabetes. Because of his inability to climb stairs and the diffiulty he experienced moving around in a home not designed for his situation, he was unable to find peace in his home. As part of this service project, we remodeled his home and installed ramps so he could better move through his house. While the community could have turned a blind eye to his situation and decided that this issue was only for his family to solve, we were altrustic and decided to elevate the community.

Being an academic, my skills are best suited to helping other students in their studies. I have grown to become a frequent math tutor in all subjects from algebra to calculus as well as with science, social stuides, and English. Through my career at Alta High School and my studies in Advanced Placement classes like Statistics, U.S. History, and Chemistry, I have been able to help students inside and out of the classroom. Some of my best examples of strange tutoring sessions include teaching pre-calculus on a bench in the school weight room, explaining a physics concept on a Trax train returning from a lab at the University of Utah, and describing causes of migration on the auditorium stage. I value education greatly; I believe that it is one of the most long-lasting and important things that we can find in this world. I also think that every time I teach, I help the community as a whole because the principles I teach to others can then be passed on to others. I do not limit my service to others to only intellectual problems, I am often participating in Eagle Scout projects, church service activities, and school-sponsored service projects. I have recently earned my Eagle Scout Award after completing one of the most productive blood drives the local Red Cross has ever seen. Some of the many church service projects I have helped with involved the Utah Food Bank and one experience that I especially loved was with a group of Burmese refugees. In this service opportunity, I helped run a carnival in which the Burmese children could play games, launch rockets, and run through inflatable obstacle courses. I am only a small piece of the puzzle as others in the community also do their part to help.

One man who exemplifies social responsibility is Bruce J. Lyman. Utah as a whole is very socially responsible when it comes to helping the homeless. In fact, U.S. News ran an article on the 81.2 million dollars spent on homeless services and programs. In spit of all the help given to the homeless population of Ytah, these people down on their luck are seen asking for help on the streets of Salt Lake City. Bruce Lyman will often spend his lunch break from work at the City Creek Center talking with the homeless and taking them to eat. He says that sometimes, the most important thing to the homeless is not a hot meal or a place to sleep, it’s the interaction that they get from others. While our society is much better with assisting the homeless and those with disabilities than India because of the culturally reinforced caste system, homeless men and women often feel dehumanized, defeated, and lonely as people ignore them on the street. Bruce, and countless others like him, practive social responsibility by caring for those in need with the excess they have in their lives. The Philanthropy Roundtable reports that the amount of charitabel giving per capita has grown by 261.5% since 1954 adjusted for inflation. These figures only account for monetary contributions; acts of service that do not have a price and everything not recorded are not included in these calculations. Overall, the United States becomes a more giving and selfless country each year. We are setting a precedent for being one of the most socially responsible countires in the world. 

An area where I had previously had little experience is in music. After auditioning for the school musical this year, Alta’s choir teacher asked me to enroll in her courses and after a week of Concert Choir, I was advanced to Madrigals. During the winter season, we traveled to a total of fifteen church meetinsg, elementary schools, and senior living centers. Even though these performances cost nothing other than our time, they helped strengthen our community and the experiences of those who heard our music will be remembered. At the senior centers, common responses were silent tears as we sang songs of faith and there was the real service.

This is the real lesson I’ve learned through my limited years of serving the community: it’s not the house, it’s not the tree-lined pathways nor the raked leaves, it isn’t the meal, and it isn’t the words we sing. The true reason for service is how we make others feel. The smile on Mr. Roger’s face, the pride in my peers’ hearts, the hope of the homeless, and the tears of the elderly are why we serve. In a world that continues to turn numbers to prove success, social responsibility isn’t measured in dollars and percentages, it’s measured in hearts and in memories.


2017 - 2018 National A.C.E. award winner, Tyler Osborne

The 2018 National A.C.E. of the Year Award goes to Tyler Osborne, who is sponsored by the Exchange Club of Shelby, NC, of the North Carolina District.

 

Tyler is a remarkable young man who graduated from Kings Mountain High School in 2018 with a 4.6 GPA, despite unstable living conditions – officially being named homeless in November 2016.

 

Tyler is determined to beat all the odds, every obstacle set in his path, and every deck stacked against him. He has intentionally set out to carve his own path in the world – one very different than that made by his family of uneducated drug addicts and alcoholics. As he looks toward the future, Tyler has already become the first member of his family to graduate from high school; and, now he’s ready to tackle college! 

 

Throughout his high school career, Tyler was actively involved in his student body and the school. He was a member of the football team, the swim team, and the track and field program – all the while, planning where he would sleep each night, how to complete his school work, and where he was going to find his meals. 

 

Despite his circumstances, Tyler has become known as someone who leads by example and never complains. He prides himself on his work ethic and his determination for never giving up. He dreams of the day when he has his own children to support; children he can congratulate for their academic and athletic successes. He never wants himself, or his own children, to be “another statistic”.

 

Tyler has four universities selected to attend, with the final decision being dependent on the amount of finical assistance he can secure. He plans to double major in psychology and engineering, or psychology and marine biology. His ultimate goal is to start a nonprofit called ‘Tyler’s Home for All’, where any homeless child will find the assistance they need to graduate from high school and “become the best they can be.”

 

“I honestly just know what it is like to be alone and go countless days without food and shelter, and feel as if nobody is supporting me … I do not want any child to go through what I have for the past 17 years of my life, so I want to make a positive difference in their lives.”


IN HIS OWN WORDS...
Being homeless has gave me a certain perspective on life that not many people have. I see the world in a completely different way and it makes me work harder. I do not want to be a high school dropout, drug addict, or drunk like the rest of my family. I want to break the cycle. I am going to be the first to graduate highschool and the first to attend college. I also cannot keep living like this. I want a home. I want a place that I can call my own and I now that the only way I can ensure this is by succeding in the classroom. My work ethic has driven me this far and I am not going to let it stop me now. I also do not want my kids growing up the way I did. I want my kids to have parents. I want my kids to have somebody to support and be there to congratulate them for succeding academically and athletically. I have a “why” and that is why I constantly never give up. I have to prove everyone wrong and I will not become another statistic. Skills such as drive, hardworking, passion, and heart will constantly push me all the way through college and allow me to pursue my education.

Financial aid is crucial in my need to attend college. I have no parent, family, or friends that are going to assist me with paying. I am all alone and I have no one to help me but the government. If I cannot afford college, then I will not be able to break the cycle and I will have allowed every person that doubted me to win. If I do not get financial aid, I have always considered the Army as an option just because of their eductaion benefits. I do not want to go, but I will do anything to pursue my education and make something of myself. I need all the help that I can get because I am determined to succeed. Financial aid is hopefully going to get me a full ride to some college or at least give me some type of money to wiegh my options and choose the most financially stable college in my price range. Whatever I do not get in financial aid, I hope to seek in scholarships.

Personal Letter from Tyler
I plan to graduate high school and attend one of four colleges which include UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, Appalachian State University, or UNC Wilmington. I would like to double major in Psychology and Engineering or Psychology and Marine Biology. My future plan to make the community and the world a better place is to start a non-profit organization called Tyler’s Home for All. This will be an orgainzation for any homeless child. Education comes first, so if they are willing to stay in school, I will provide them with what they need to graduate and become the best they can be. They will be provided with a home, utilities, and clothes each year that they are enrolled in school. Students who graduate high school will be awarded full tuition to the school of their choise upon acceptance.

I believe providing these necessities will lead homeless students to believe in themselves and that they can achieve their goals. They will not end up simply being another statistic. The reason behind this vision is because I have witnessed it. I have overcome many obstaclesbut the one most significant to me was battling homelessness (which I am currently still doing). I have walked to and from every athletic event that I have been apart of. I have slept outside, under bridges, in cars, on buses, and even on the side of the road. I typically stay with the teachers whenever I have the opportunity because they are at risk when a student is staying in their home and I honestly just know what it is like to be alone and go countless days without food and shelter and feel as if nobody is supporting me because I have experienced it hands on. I do not want any child to go through what I have for the past 17 years of my life, so I want to make a positive difference in their lives.