Teen Center member named Military Youth of the Year

| April 26, 2013 | 0 Comments
HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie congratulates Katelyn Brown, the 2013 Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Hawaii Military Youth of the Year, after a ceremony at the State Capitol, here, recently. (Photo courtesy Child Youth and School Services, FMWR)

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie congratulates Katelyn Brown, the 2013 Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Hawaii Military Youth of the Year, after a ceremony at the State Capitol, here, recently. (Photo courtesy Child Youth and School Services, FMWR)

Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs,
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Children of service members often encounter many challenges as a result of the military lifestyle.

One teen that suddenly was thrust into this lifestyle, not only overcame her challenges, but also found a way to flourish in them.

Katelyn Brown received the 2013 Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Hawaii Military Youth of the Year at the State Capital in Honolulu, March 19.

Brown was awarded a $3,000 college scholarship for being the Military Youth of the Year. Along with the scholarship, she was presented with a plaque from the Hawaii Senate and House of Representatives, honored by Hawaii Governor Neal Abercrombie and received a letter from Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii Mark Recktenwald.

“I felt very honored and proud to receive this award,” said Brown, a 17-year-old volunteer and a native of Robins, N.C. “Getting this award made me feel that I can do anything as long as I dedicate myself to accomplishing the goals I set.”

Brown will compete in the BGCA Military Youth of the Year Regional Competition, July 15-18, in Hunting Beach, Calif.

“Taking this honor as Hawaii’s Military Youth of the Year is one that I will cherish and will represent in Army Hawaii with great dignity and grace,” said Brown. “This award will show Army teens that there is something out there for them to accomplish and strive for.”

Brown lived in a small town of approximately 1,000 people for more than 10 years. Her way of life was turned upside down when her mother, Steffanie, a Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation employee, married Staff Sgt. Brian Walter, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

“I did not know what to expect of what was to come with moving to Hawaii,” Brown explained.

In an attempt to get involved with her peers, Brown visited the Schofield Barracks Teen Center. As she walked through the door, the feeling of being home cascaded over her. The Teen Center enabled Brown to meet new teens, learn new things and participate in volunteer work and activities.

She was selected to be on the Pacific Teen Panel and attend the Army’s Youth Leadership Forum Camp on the Big Island of Hawaii. The event brings military teens from Korea, Japan, Kwajalein, Alaska and Hawaii together.

Brown is also a part of the Hired Program that allows her to assist in the Teen Center office and aid the staff with clubs and activities. One of her favorite volunteer activities is teaching a cooking class every Thursday to military children.

“One of my most memorable moments I volunteered at was the toy give-away with the BGCA and Toy Industry Foundation,” recalled Brown. “We gave away more than 2,000 toys to Army and military children for Christmas.”

After being named the 2013 BGCA Hawaii Military Youth of the Year, Brown is looking to the future. She’s interested in a career in nursing and college at the University of North Carolina.

 

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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