For their ingenuity and determination, some of the Valley’s spectacular youngsters received Chase Youth Awards during a ceremony Tuesday at the Spokane Opera House.
Here are brief profiles of the Valley’s award winners in the following categories:
Freeman Elementary second-grader Katelin Tanner sells stalks of sunshine along a country road in Valleyford. Her sunflower seedlings, for sale every spring, are the product of her business savvy.
For three years, the 8-year-old has sown seeds in her family’s cold frames, watered them with care and made sure they got just the right amount of sunshine.
One weekend in June, she sets up a stand and sells, sells, sells. She rakes in an average of $45 each season, which she uses to pay for an annual summer visit with her godparents.
Katelin already has expanded her product line to include miniature rock garden in planter boxes, and has hired her first employee, her little sister, to assist in watering the plants.
Fifteen-year-old Ben Mosier is the proud owner of a log cabin and 20 acres near Chewelah. The Evergreen Jr. High student saved almost every penny he earned from his job at Spokane Gun Club. With a $1,000 down payment, he was able to buy the land and property.
The astute businessman agreed to make monthly payments until he’s 24 years old. Now, in addition to his weekend job, he’s painting houses to make good on his loan.
The busy ninth-grader also manages to maintain a 3.7 G.P.A. and wrestles for Central Valley High’s freshman team.
Birds can fly a little easier knowing Dale Wentworth is looking out for them.
The 15-year-old West Valley High School ninth-grader designed his Eagle Scout project to help birds of prey such as eagles, owls, hawks and ospreys.
Wentworth worked with officials from Idaho’s Farragut State Park to build the first Raptor Rehabilitation Center, which houses several injured birds until they’re able to be reintroduced into the wild. Wentworth secured all the funding and laborers for the project.
The future of the planet is in clean hands.
While most kids are playing video games or watching television, four Sunrise Elementary fourth-graders pull wagons - loaded with recyclables they’ve found throughout their neighborhood.
Ten-year-olds Kevin Johnson, Nate McVay, Billy Nafsinger and Scott Thompson, designed a recycling program for their school. With money they gathered from redeeming soda cans and other materials, the boys bought recycling and compost bins for the school. Once a week, they clean up the entire playground - wearing latex gloves, of course.
Totally committed to their cause, the fourth-graders continue to teach their classmates and teachers about different ways they can all keep the community clean.
Whitney Porter, a fourth-grader at Seth Woodard Elementary, uses the power of compassion at school and at home.
One of her little brothers has autism and often cannot express himself clearly. Without hesitation, Whitney explains what he’s trying to say.
At school, Whitney volunteers to work with students with special needs. She worked for Free the Children on a letter-writing campaign to discourage child slave labor.
Her big heart reaches all the way to Malawi, the African country that is home to a little boy she sponsors with regular financial support.
Whitney’s going to keep on helping, too. The 9-year-old plans to dedicate her life to finding a cure for autism and AIDS.
He’s a little big man. Seth Christianson deals with his hemophilia with maturity beyond his 8 years.
Whenever the Skyview Elementary second-grader gets a bloody nose, he matter-of-factly goes to the nurse, gets the help he needs and returns quickly to his classroom - ready to work hard and help others.
Though he’d never roller skated before, the determined boy bundled himself in bandages for the school’s skating night. Cushioned against any fall, the novice stepped up to his latest challenge with courage and determination. His smile told of all the fun he had.
If team spirit could be bottled, Adrienne Isgrigg would be one of the main ingredients.
The Liberty School eighth-grader is hardly ever short on energy and takes on almost any project.
She challenged her church’s youth group to collect 100,000 items for Crosswalk/Alexandria House. It was the ultimate shopping opportunity.
Value Village’s 10-cent item days made for great fun. She filled up carts with clothes for teens and tots. At project’s end, the youth group collected over 40,000 items.
With her legs and hands, Alyssa Jordan finds her way into people’s hearts.
The Pratt Elementary sixth-grader danced for her school on Veterans Day and so touched her classmates and teachers that they cried.
For an area retirement home, Alyssa and two friends created signs meant to inspire residents. At Christmastime, the 12-year-old did the same thing for the children hospitalized at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Being a democratic sixth-grader is no easy task. But Pratt Elementary student Joanna Repsold knows just how to do it.
The 11-year-old class president volunteers for school fundraising programs or reading hours and solves lunchtime arguments among other students with relative ease. A hall monitor and a safety patrol member, Joanna cares about the safety of her peers. Her best leadership quality? She always makes time to listen.
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