Dylan Daniels, a senior at Valor Christian High School, was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Youth of Lone Tree Award at the Lone Tree City Council meeting June 1 for her leadership and hard work over …
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Dylan Daniels, a senior at Valor Christian High School, was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Youth of Lone Tree Award at the Lone Tree City Council meeting June 1 for her leadership and hard work over the past year.
The Outstanding Youth of Lone Tree Award program was created in 2011 to recognize “youth in the community who demonstrate a commitment to community involvement as well as personal achievement,” according to the City of Lone Tree’s website.
Youth commissioners Laura Pulido and Sarah Paschke, Councilmember Jay Carpenter and Mayor Pro Tem Cathie Brunnick conducted the interviews for this award, and the Youth Commission voted to select Daniels. They said that she demonstrated impeccable leadership skills and commended her work creating a recycling program for her school amid the pandemic.
Daniels noticed that there weren’t any recycling bins at Valor during her freshman year and thought it wasn’t right, considering the school’s high usage of paper. This past year, she enrolled in a capstone course. Students were tasked with writing about any issue they wanted to solve, and she chose to tackle her school’s lack of recycling.
This project was on top of many other commitments to her school and community, including work as a Sky Ridge Medical Center Youth Volunteer. Further she is the only woman on the CyberPatriots team, a program created by the Air Force Association that educates students about cybersecurity. She has also been a part of varsity cross country, lacrosse, and track and field at her school and is a summer backpack leader for Camp Timberline, a Christian sports and mountain adventure camp.
The Youth Commission introduced Daniels and her work, and each council member commented on her achievements and congratulated her. Carpenter was the first council member to speak about Daniels, expressing his appreciation for the work she has done.
“We are fortunate and blessed to have this quality of youth in Lone Tree,” Carpenter said. “I was super impressed by the initiative you took. You stood up and advocated for your cause. You juggled all those responsibilities, and it’s super impressive.”
Councilmembers Wynne Shaw and Mike Anderson expressed similar sentiments, congratulating her on her kindness and commitments to her community and the environment.
Along with praise and recognition, The Youth Commission presented Daniels with a commemorative plaque as well as a $500 check — $250 from the Lone Tree Youth Commission and $250 from Canvas Credit Union.
“We’re really proud of our youth here and what they do,” said Brunnick. “A little bit of action goes a long way, so we appreciate all you’ve done.”
The council members kept returning to the fact that Daniels achieved all of this during an abnormal year. They said that they could not imagine going to high school amid a pandemic and were impressed with the impact she made while overcoming challenges.
“You took action. You made a difference, and you made a change,” Mayor Jackie Millet said. “You are a leader, and we can’t wait to see what you do in the future.”
Daniels submitted her research paper to the school board at the end of the school year and expects to meet with them about her plans late July or early August.
“I think it’s really important that I’m able to show other students and my peers that they can make a change too,” Daniels said. “I think if you see something that’s wrong, and you see something that you’re passionate about, just go for it.”
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