Spirit of Youth Wins

Five Kenai Peninsula Borough School District students are recognized during the 23rd Annual Spirit of Youth Awards! Spirit of Youth highlights dedicated young people and unsung heroes from around Alaska. The awards recognize the hard work and efforts of these future leaders. Congratulations!

2021 Discovery Award: Austin Cline Homer High School
Austin became an Eagle Scout by reopening the upper Homestead trail. He also was a two-time finalist in the Caring for the Kenai competition, which asks students to create a proposal to improve the environment on the Kenai Peninsula.

2021 Dreamer Award: Ryann Esteban Port Graham School
Ryann is a member of Student Council, Native Youth Olympics, a Sources of Strength youth leader at school, and a teen member on the Port Graham Native Council. She also independently created artwork for a sweatshirt that amplified the voices of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Spirit of Youth Recognizes three KPBSD Nominees

Bailey Epperheimer , Nikiski Middle-High School
Baily led the Nikiski Children’s Fund, and raised money to help children and families with basic needs such as new clothing items or paying utility bills. She raised money through a variety of ways, such as auctioning off a calf and community baseball games.

Naomi Jones , Tebughna School
Naomi is dedicated to Native Youth Olympics, group arts and crafts and caring for children and elders. She started a student newspaper, conducting interviews for a student and staff profile, and reporting on monthly activities. She utilizes electronic media, engages with youth writing groups by competing in writers’ conferences.

Ashley Dahlman , Connections Homeschool
Ashley has taken on a number of leadership roles within her school and community, including student council. She also competed in last year’s Caring for the Kenai competition, where students from around the Kenai Peninsula create, design and implement an idea to better care for their community. Her project was called “Wonderfully Worn Wardrobe,” and students could donate used or unwanted clothing for students in need.


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