Kamiak junior earns county youth club’s ‘highest honor’

Neumeister moves on to state competition in March
By Nicholas Johnson | Feb 22, 2017
Courtesy of: Mike Neumeister Kate Neumeister, 16, of Alderwood beat out 17 finalists to be named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County 2017 Youth of the Year.

A Kamiak High School junior is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County 2017 Youth of the Year – the highest honor a club member can obtain.

Kate Neumeister, 16, of Alderwood was honored at an Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. She will now move on to represent the club’s 22,000 countywide members at the State Youth of the Year event March 22-23 in Olympia and Seattle.

“From before I can remember, the Boys & Girls Club has had a major impact on my life,” she said.

“It has helped shape me into the person I am today. The Boys & Girls Club helped me become more confident and a leader in various aspects of my life. The club has helped me discover that I enjoy helping and serving others, leading to my goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.”

As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles.

The program requires submission of a written packet including three essays, as well as a three-minute speech and interviews with community judges.

Neumeister was selected from 17 local youth from Snohomish, Island, and Kitsap Counties, including Jacqueline Oswalt of the Mukilteo Club, Jacob Merrill of the Edmonds Club, Tina Nguyen of the Everett Club and Michael Barbee of the South Everett/Mukilteo Club.

The Boys & Girls Clubs awarded a total of $7,500 in scholarships to the participants, as well as a Garmin Fitness Tracker to each Youth.

Neumeister has been a member of the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club for 12 years. In that time, she has served as a member of the Keystone Club, a teenage leadership group, and the Snohomish County Youth Council. She has also attended Teen Summits with teens from clubs across the state.

As a student at Kamiak, Neumiester is involved with sports medicine and the Pre-Med Club. Last year, Kate completed more than 200 volunteer hours. Through the Mukilteo Presbyterian Church, she has volunteered at the Mukilteo Food Bank since 7th grade. She has also been a volunteer summer camp Counselor In Training for the past two summers.

“It is not often that we see Counselors In Training with the maturity and work ethic we see in Kate,” Carol Vernon, Program Director for the Alderwood Boys & Girls Club, said.

“She works well with adults, other teens and children with a variety of temperaments. She is reliable, responsible, hardworking and is consistently ready to help the children. She demonstrates kindness and maturity beyond her years.”

Winners of the state competition each receive a $1,000 scholarship and move on to regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level.

The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and the opportunity to meet and be recognized by the President of the United States.

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