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Peterson teen honored as Youth of the Year

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As the new Peterson Military Youth of the Year for the RP Lee Youth Center, 14-year old Emily Wanderscheid is a true example of an extraordinary young woman recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs of America for her sound character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to her community.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Youth of the Year recognition is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. The Youth of the Year program celebrates school-aged youths who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments.

In 2012, Emily volunteered more than 196 community service hours through her school and the Club outreach projects which included feeding the homeless, coaching, and mentoring preteens.

Overcoming adversity is nothing new to this extraordinary and resilient teen. Emily has struggled with loss of sight in one eye. This has impacted her daily life, studies and school, but is a challenge she has met head-on as she maintains a positive and "can do" attitude.

As a ninth grader, she is also a member of her school's volleyball team, and has actively participated in the drama and theatre programs. After high school, Emily plans to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to pursue a degree in law.

"I am very proud of all the hard work and dedication that Emily has shown to our Club. I honestly believe that she will do an excellent job representing Peterson Air Force Base, and she has my full support," said Victoria Reid, youth director at the RP Lee Youth Center. "This year has been an awesome year for our open (recreation) program, and I am thankful for teens like Emily, who set good examples for their peers and who exemplify the true meaning of what being a leader really means."

Wanderscheid's next round of competition is at the regional level, and if she wins there at the state level where she will be vying for the title of Military Southwest Region Youth of the Year and $10,000 in scholarship funds. From there, the five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C., in September, to compete for the title of BGCA's National Youth of the Year. The national level winner will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 and will have the opportunity to meet the president at the White House.

As representative and spokesperson for some four million members of the Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide, the National Youth of the Year serves a one-year term traveling across the country to address various groups on important youth issues and the role BGCA's play in changing young lives. As national youth spokesperson, the Youth of the Year appears on local and national broadcast programs, newspapers, magazines and various online media sources, as well as speaks to influential business, civic and government leaders.

For information about the Club and the open recreation program on Peterson AFB, contact the RP Lee Youth Center at 556-7220.

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