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BEHS student wins Military Youth of Year Award

Terrill McFarland, the National Vice-President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Outreach Services, presents a $5,000 scholarship to MiKaila Alexander, a senior at Ben Eielson High School, with Col. Richard Cole, the 354th Mission Support Group commander, during the 2016 Alaska Youth of the Year ceremony at the Westmark Hotel, Feb. 20, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alexander won the Military Youth of the Year scholarship for the second year in a row and will compete at the next regional level this summer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

Terrill McFarland, the National Vice-President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Outreach Services, presents a $5,000 scholarship to MiKaila Alexander, a senior at Ben Eielson High School, with Col. Richard Cole, the 354th Mission Support Group commander, during the 2016 Alaska Youth of the Year ceremony at the Westmark Hotel, Feb. 20, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alexander won the Military Youth of the Year scholarship for the second year in a row and will compete at the next regional level this summer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

MiKaila Alexander, a senior at Ben Eielson High School, gives a speech during the 2016 Alaska Youth of the Year ceremony at the Westmark Hotel, Feb. 20, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alexander won the Military Youth of the Year scholarship for the second year in a row and will compete at the next regional level this summer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

MiKaila Alexander, a senior at Ben Eielson High School, gives a speech during the 2016 Alaska Youth of the Year ceremony at the Westmark Hotel, Feb. 20, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alexander won the Military Youth of the Year scholarship for the second year in a row and will compete at the next regional level this summer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Eielson hosted the annual Youth of the Year Program, recognizing five of Alaska’s best and brightest youth, awarding a winner to the military and civilian category.

The Youth of the Year Program showcases each person’s talents and achievements and enables children an opportunity for a positive future.

The ceremony, hosted by Col. Richard O. Cole, the 354th Mission Support Group commander, was held at the Westmark Hotel and recognized the top two Youth of the Year and top three Military Youth of the Year.

 “Because of the leadership you all have shown here, everyone expects a whole lot more from you,” said Cole. “In the future, you will be the ones out in front leading; know that there isn’t anything you can’t do.”

Each youth gave a speech in front of a panel of judges, and the winner of each category received a $5,000 scholarship toward the college of their choice.

This year’s military Youth of the Year award was presented to MiKaila Alexander, a senior at Ben Eielson High School, who won for the second year in a row.

“All of the candidates did great and I want to see them on TV in the future for big things,” said Alexander. “Every bone in my body is shaking but I’m so relieved and excited; I can’t find the right words to say.”

Alexander said she plans to attend college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and major in Psychology. She will compete at the next regional level in San Diego in July.