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Military Youth of the Year

Recognizing Hillside youth’s achievement

Big congratulations are owed to Jordan from Hillside Youth Center, this year’s state-level Military Youth of the Year! When chatting with him, Jordan shared he learned about this opportunity and was encouraged to participate by Mrs. Charissa L., Hillside Assistant Manager. Consequently, this began his Military Youth of the Year journey which led him to compose essays, present his first public speech and enjoy a special celebration at Governor Inslee’s mansion after finding out he won the state level scholarship.

He stated he was proud to step up and represent Hillside for this program and pulled from his experiences he has already had completing community service. He has volunteered his time and talents at special events including Kids’ Fest, the Hillside Youth Center Harvest Fest and at the Children’s Museum of JBLM. He was only a little nervous about the state competition because he was selected to be the first candidate for the activities. Considering the overall competition experience, Jordan said it was, “uplifting. Everyone wanted to see each other succeed and grow. Even if people messed up [their speech], you cheered for them.” He also left some words of wisdom for other students thinking about participating next year. He wants “to push them to do something like this … and you know, be excited.” His line of thinking is, “If I can do this, so can you. This can really open doors and bring new opportunities.”

When speaking about his time at Hillside Youth Center, he shared it’s a place that feels like home and he’s had a chance to make really close friends. It’s “a very good environment and there’s never a dull moment at the center.” He appreciates the video game room, the gym where he can play basketball, the nice staff and how everyone is really nice.

On a more personal side, besides loving to play basketball, Jordan takes pride in being an JROTC Cadet. At the time of his interview, he said his family has been here in Washington for almost three years and getting ready to move on to their next location, but he plans to attend Winston-Salem State University — his mother’s alma mater — to study kinesiology, a program he feels will connect well with his aspirations to choose from a medical field related Army MOS when he follows in his father’s footsteps to serve. But, first he’s off to the Pacific Regional Youth of the Year competition and wrapping up his senior year of high school.

Best wishes on all your future endeavors, Jordan, and thank you for representing JBLM!

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Middle School & Teen

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