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2017 AHA Youth of the Year: Morgan "Danika" Overstreet Region 5


AHYA_YOTY2017 borderAt the 2017 Annual AHA Membership Convention in Denver, CO it was announced that Kent, Washington youth Morgan "Danika" Overstreet is the recipient of the 2017 AHA Youth of the Year award. 

 

Our Youth of the Year has and is an important part of the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA). She served as the Region 5 Youth Director, and was elected as the AHYA Secretary, in 2016-2017. During her years as the Region 5 Youth Director and the AHYA Secretary she has created new activities and fundraising opportunities in her region as well as at the National level. She has many new and creative ideas to help people feel included and ways to have fun.

 

Then again, it is not just about the fundraising for her. She also has been an advocate along the way. Even in places where she is not surrounded by the Arabian horse industry she tries to educate people about the beauty and versatility of our breed.

 

Her efforts within the Arabian horse community has led her to strive to be a positive influence on AHYA and to be a role model for those who aspire to become further involved in the Arabian horse community. She believes that the Arabian horse youth community can and will grow – that youth are the stepping stones to a bright future.

 

Her passion, pursuit of excellence, personality, and support of the Arabian horse are just some of the attributes that we, as Arabian Horse Association members want to represent us as our Youth of the Year. We would like to present her with the Youth of the Year perpetual trophy as well as a $1,000 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Youth Association.

 

Morgan “Danika” Overstreet is a leader among her peers, serving her breed and others with a selfless attitude and the heart of a champion. AHA is proud to call her our 2017 ‘Youth of the Year’.

 

AHA would also like to congratulate, Miss Elizabeth Elken from Region 5 as the first runner-up for ‘Youth of the Year’ and earning a $500 scholarship sponsored by All Things Equine and Miss London Collins from Region 7, as the second runner-up. Congrats to all!
 


Below is the transcript of the Youth of the Year Award results presentation from the 2017 AHA Annual Membership Convention in Denver, CO. The presentation was made by 2017 Youth of the Year Selection Sub-Committee Member, Deborah Johnson of Region 3.

 

Thank you, it is an honor to serve on the Youth of the Year sub-committee. I’d like to begin by recognizing those who joined me in selecting the 2017 winner:

Debbie Price, Selection Committee Chair

Cindy Howey, Youth Committee Vice Chair

Stacey Dunn, Region 9

 

AHA youth members are anything but average! The Youth of the Year award honors annually one outstanding youth member. Criteria for this prestigious award is based on his or her achievements and contributions to the Arabian horse industry, to AHA and lastly to his or her community. Our past winners have been outstanding ambassadors for the breed and have gone on to represent us exceptionally well – not just in the Arabian horse industry but in the equine industry as a whole.

 

Each year, our committee is privileged to review these applications, giving us a chance to learn about some of our brightest youth members and then personally interview the final candidates. Each of the finalists presented their own strengths, passions and insights in various areas. We continue to be amazed each year with the quality of the youth members that are a part of this organization.

 

YOTY_2017_London borderRegion 7 has reason to be proud of a particular young lady named London Collins. London is extremely involved in her equestrian activities and community. She was able to complete her Junior and Senior year of High School at the same time and fought to prove that her equestrian riding should be considered as a sport and her physical education credit. London is also passionate about giving her time to volunteering. She is a hard worker, passionate and determined in all that she does. We congratulate London on her many achievements and as the Second Runner-up for Youth of the Year.

 

Liz Elken BorderRegion 5 was also well represented this year by a bright and charismatic young woman by the name of Elizabeth Elken. Elizabeth has been a very active and important member of her region. She served as the Region 5 Co-Director, running meetings, activities, and creating advertisements to help promote youth programs in her area. Beyond this Elizabeth has been a writer for her school’s newspaper and a member now of her college’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. The first runner up for the Youth of the Year will be awarded a $500 scholarship sponsored by All Things Equine. Congratulations Elizabeth for being the 2017 first runner up for the Youth of the Year and being the recipient of the $500 scholarship.

 

With so many bright futures placed before us, it was certainly difficult to choose a single winner. This year, one candidate distinguished herself, with her passion for the Arabian horse breed; with her desire to help others, and to bring people in the industry together, and above all, her global view and passion for helping others. It is now my distinct honor to describe to you an outstanding youth from Region 5.

 

Compassion, humility, and motivation are the foundation of this young woman’s approach to life. Through her high school career, she has taken on numerous volunteer and service positions. She has a desire for serving and has been a very active member of her school’s key club. She served as a Microsoft Student Ambassador, teaching coding twice a week to elementary school kids. Beyond this Danika has been involved at her school as the Vice President of her Key Club, a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and Girls Honors Club. Her community is very important to her and she tries to show that by supporting small businesses and local activities. Not only is she a community volunteer, but she is competitive in academics as well. She has been recognized for her commitment and passion of the French language 3 years in a row. She has received numerous awards through her Key Club and the Microsoft in Education Award of Excellence. But beyond these awards her greatest honor was seeing a smile on the face of those she served or shared her passions with.

 

Moreover, our Youth of the Year has and is an important part of the Arabian Horse Youth Association. She served as the Region 5 youth director, and was elected as the AHYA Secretary in 2016. During her years as the Region 5 Youth Director and the AHYA Secretary she has created new activities and fundraising opportunities in her region as well as at the National Level. She has so many new and creative ideas to help people feel included and ways to have fun.

AHYA_YOTY2017_pic2 border 

Then again, it is not just about the fundraising for her. She also has been an advocate along the way. Even in places where she is not surrounded by the Arabian horse industry she tries to educate people about the beauty and versatility of our breed.

 

Her efforts within the Arabian horse community has led her to strive to be a positive influence on AHYA and to be a role model for those who aspire to become further involved in the Arabian horse community. She believes that the Arabian horse youth community can and will grow – that youth are the stepping stones to a bright future.

 

Her passion, pursuit of excellence, personality, and support of the Arabian horse are just some of the attributes that we, as Arabian Horse Association members want to represent us as our Youth of the Year. We would like to present her with the Youth of the Year perpetual trophy as well as a $1000 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Youth Association.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present to you, from Kent, Washington and Region 5, your 2017 Youth of the Year, Miss Danika Overstreet.


 


 


 


 


 

Other Equine Association Awards

 

AHA nominates one youth member for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award. Individuals interested in applying for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award must send in their application to AHA by September 1st. Each breed affiliate may submit only one candidate for USEF's Youth Sportsman's Award. For more information, please contact Youth Programs.

 

264629_1787745659247_3362240_n BorderAHA Youth members are also eligible for the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year award, which is awarded annually to a junior member of the Federation in good standing who:

 

  • Has competed at one or more USEF-recognized competitions during the last year
  • Personifies the virtues of honor, courage, patience, good temper, unselfishness, and sincerity
  • Exhibits the qualities of good sportsmanship and integrity
  • Exemplifies exceptional talent and dedication to the sport
  • And has made outstanding contributions to equestrian competition.

 

Applications for this award are accepted between Sept. 1 and Nov. 4 of the given year. For more information, please visit the USEF website.

 

If you are aware of any additional equine industry awards available to AHA youth members, please contact youth@arabianhorses.org. We at AHA constantly strive to educate our members as to the opportunities available to them, and we appreciate your assistance in ensuring our records are accurate and up to date. Thank you!