Military and Junior Youth of the Year

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Matthew S. Domingos
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Team Whiteman’s own Emmanuel Tillman and Alexis Posey, students at the Youth Center, were recently named Junior Youth of the Year and Military Youth of the Year respectively.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America puts on the annual Youth of the Year program to celebrate young people for their commitment to community service, academic success, and good character and citizenship. The YotY program was designed to honor and celebrate the nation’s most inspiring kids.

As part of the selection process, kids wrote and presented speeches to a panel of judges, and the winners had a chance to show off their public speaking skills by hosting Missouri Governor Mike Parsons at the Youth Center on Whiteman AFB.

Alexis has also gone on to compete for and win the state Military YotY title in Jefferson City, Missouri.

“I think my favorite part was when we went to Jefferson City,” said Alexis. “Being able to learn about all the different Boys and Girls Clubs in our state and also getting to meet new people and make new friends.”

She wrote several speeches with the help of her family, mostly focused on the other teens around her, many of whom have moved around a lot as children as their parents moved from one base to another.

“When you get to understand what they’ve been through, you’re like ‘dang, I don’t know if I’d be able to do that,’” said Alexis. “I haven’t moved around a bunch like some of my best friends but it’s kind of hard to have your best friends constantly leaving you.”

That focus on her fellow military children and her dedication to her community helped her earn this honor.

“Everybody has a story,” said Alexis. “Always be there for people, you don’t know what they are going through.”

Not only has the Military YotY program and clubs like the Keystone Club helped her meet new people and visit new places, but the scholarship she won as part of the competition has also helped further her education.

Emmanuel was picked for Junior YotY at Whiteman AFB because he has constantly demonstrated kindness, honesty, and leadership ability, qualities he’s shown by volunteering, being a leader in his school, and mentoring new students at Knob Noster Elementary School.

He said that the clubs that are available through the Youth Center have helped him get involved and support his community as well.

“My favorite club is Torch Club because we help our community,” said Emmanuel. “We recently did a bake sale to raise funds to start a teacher’s store to be able to provide more supplies for teachers.”

It was this attitude that secured the title of Whiteman’s Junior YotY for him.

Alexis and Emmanuel have shown their family, friends and community why they earned the honor of WAFB’s YotY. They have demonstrated a commitment to community service, academic success, good character, and citizenship.

As the Military YotY for the state of Missouri, the next step for Alexis is to compete against other military teens at the regional competition later this year in Chicago.