Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Teen named Youth Citizen of Year

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By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer

Sydney Leopold Photo by Willy Cook

Fifth in series of 9

As an athlete, student, volunteer and leader, Sydney Leopold is involved in the community. Recently she caught the attention of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, earning the 2005 Youth Citizen of the Year award.

"I think it's neat people are noticing that I am making a difference," Leopold remarked.

Leopold's involvement in the community distinguishes her as an important contributor to the Wood River Valley. She is a member of the Blaine County Teen Advisory Council and leads Interact, a service club through Rotary. She has earned the Idaho Top Scholar award through the University of Idaho and received the National Start Student Recognition Award from Wood River High School principal Graham Hume.

"I just make time. I go to bed at 10 most nights. Somehow I work it all in," she remarked.

At 17 years old, she has already attended leadership forums across the country. The forums include the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Washington, D.C., the Family Career and Community Leaders of America conference in Spokane, Wash. and other conferences with the Business and Finance Academy and the Blaine County Teen Advisory Council.

The Wood River High senior applies the leadership skills gained from her participation at these forums to a multitude of local community service efforts.

"I really, really enjoy working with the kids. They are some of the nicest people ever," Leopold said.

She often works with disabled children as a volunteer with the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports Program. Leopold's leadership efforts manifested when she invited the kids to swim at her neighborhood pool.

"The kids didn't have a place to go swimming," she said.

This summer she extended her hand beyond the valley to help disabled children in Boise. She spent the summer working as an intern with the Lee Pesky Learning Center.

"I think it's amazing the kids live every day with a disability and get through it and have fun. I just want to help them out, because I am so fortunate," Leopold said.

Though she is undecided where she will go to college, Leopold plans to continue helping others through a career in medicine.

Leopold will receive recognition at the 8th Annual Community Awards Night March 18 at 7 p.m. at the River Run Lodge.

Make dinner reservations

The 8th Annual Community Awards Night will be held at the River Run Lodge on March 18. Social hour will begin at 7 p.m. and dinner and the awards ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. Local veteran entertainer Chris Millspaugh will perform "The Way I See It" after the awards ceremony. Tickets are $45 per person. Call Angela Shetler at 725-2103 or e-mail your reservation request to ashetler@visitsunvalley.com.




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