2022-23 Southwest Military Youth of the Year
Club/Organization: Tinker AFB Youth Program
Length of Membership: 10 years
Anticipated College: Spelman College
Career Interest: Elementary Education
Defining Characteristics: Confident, Compassionate
“I want to be for others what I needed others to be for me.”
Every young person, like Willow, deserves a safe, positive environment in which to learn and grow.
Bethany was introduced to her Youth Center in third grade. During her time there, she developed into a leader, mentored other members and learned the importance of inclusivity. The Youth Center staff helped strengthen her resiliency, an important characteristic for a military kid living through parental deployments and moves.
Since she was a young girl, Bethany looked up to her father and wanted to follow in his footsteps as a solider in the army. But Bethany’s dream ended when she found out a hearing impairment prevented her from meeting medical standards to enlist. Through her participation in her Youth Center’s STEM program and a field trip to the Office of Medical Investigations, she developed a new passion for forensic science.
Bethany is passionate about helping youth to put down devices and focus on being present so that current and future generations of young people can change the world. She is a freshman at New Mexico State studying forensics.