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Isabell N. Named Wyoming Youth of the Year Runner-Up

Central Wyoming Youth of the Year, Isabell N., participated in the State Youth of the Year competition in Cheyenne this week. She shared her speech in front of the judges panel and interviewed with them as part of the process. Isabell then presented her speech before the Wyoming House and Senate. Isabell was named Wyoming Youth of the Year Runner-Up on Wednesday, January 18th. Isabell spoke with poise and professionalism throughout the process and the Club could not be more proud of her. Read her inspiring speech below.

Youth of the Year Speech

“A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character.”

I am always looking towards my future, but I am so grateful for my past, it is what built me, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. I’ve faced many challenges in my 15 years. Before I was born, my mother suffered permanent brain damage from a nearly fatal car crash. My father’s drug addiction tore our family apart, causing my parents to divorce before I was 2. When I was 7, my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was unable to get out of bed most days. Because of this, I’ve been the caregiver for my family. Most recently, she suffered a stroke and now faces a life threatening surgery to repair the damage it caused. Knowing that I could soon lose my mother is a terrifying thought, especially because I just lost my father right before Christmas from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Whenever I need support, I turn to the Club. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear, caring Club mentors help me in any way they can.  While some might turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with life challenges like these, the Club has kept me focused on strengthening my character–including leadership and independence–for the past nine years. At home, I am the caregiver, but at the Club, I receive the love and support I need.

The Club helps me discover what I want in life and challenges me to set goals for my future. I develop courage at the Club through activities I never would have  tried if Club directors Madison and Lauren hadn’t encouraged and believed in me. I would have never strived to be the first girl to the top of the rock wall in Lander, or jumped at the chance to ride in the front of the raft while rushing down the Snake River. Lauren and Madison guide me in taking the reins on the trail toward my future. I would not be the person I am today without the leadership the Club has given me.

In addition to the Club and my family, my horses lend me the wings I sometimes lack. Just spending time with these gentle creatures clears my mind so I can refocus on my responsibilities like maintaining straight A’s in school. I’m also a student athlete on the varsity basketball, volleyball and track teams, all while working for my family’s outfitting business.  It’s amazing what you can learn from horses, they have made such a difference in my life.

My passion is working with animals, and I plan to become a veterinarian. My goal is to get my bachelors degree at the University of Wyoming and my doctorate in veterinary medicine. Through my personal experiences, the courage I’ve gained from being a Club member and my hard work, I know that I will achieve each and every one of my goals. Like Tesio said, I, like a horse, “gallop with my lungs, persevere with my heart and win with my character.”

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