Steilacoom High School sophomore Ethan Ashford has been named the 2021 Washington Military Youth of the Year in Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year program. The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Now in its 74th year, the program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures. As the Washington State Military Youth of the Year, Ethan will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state, will receive a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
As a member of the Hillside Youth Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Ethan has served to support his peers and youth experiencing the unique challenges of military life. As President of the Keystone Club, a teen group dedicated to leadership and community service, Ethan has organized various volunteer activities in the surrounding community. His most passionate work has been as a Junior Staff support for the Passport to Manhood Club, a targeted program to engage young boys in discussions and activities that reinforce character, leadership and positive behavior.
“We are incredibly proud of Ethan and all the Youth of the Year nominees,” said Jim Clark, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the Washington State Military Youth of the Year, Ethan will serve as a spokesperson for Boys & Girls Club kids and teens across the state who face the many unique challenges associated with military life.”
This fall, Ethan will compete for the title of Pacific Region Military Youth of the Year and an additional $20,000 college scholarship. Five regional winners will advance to the virtual National Youth of the Year event in October 2021 to compete for the title of National Military Youth of the Year. The final stage of the journey, National Youth of the Year, presents the opportunity to receive an additional scholarship of $50,000 and a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1 serves the communities of Steilacoom, DuPont, Anderson Island, Ketron Island, and portions of Lakewood and unincorporated Pierce County.