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97 AMW Youth of the Year

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cody Dowell
  • 97 AMW/PA

Hannah Bradley, the daughter of Kimberly Bradley and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Denoah Bradley, 97th Mission Support Group deputy commander, was named the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s 2018 Youth of the Year. Youth of The Year is the highest award a member of the Altus AFB Teen Programs can receive.

The Youth of the Year title is part of a scholarship competition through Boys and Girls Clubs of America. To earn the title, teens have to be at least 14 years old with two years of Youth Programs experience and must win the competition at the local organization. Next they will continue to compete at higher levels, each earning different scholarships. Hannah Bradley won at the local level with her participation through Altus AFB Youth Programs, academic achievements and volunteer work.

“This experience has been a challenge, but well worth it for having the chance of receiving scholarship money at the state, regional, and national level,” said Hannah Bradley.

Competing at the higher levels will require several written essays, memorized speeches and participating in interviews. Hannah Bradley is the current Keystone Club president, which is an Air Force Youth Program organized by the Altus AFB Youth Center. Through the Keystone Club, teens learn life skills, perform volunteer work, identify concerns and pursue leadership roles. It also provides a social outlet for teens.

“We are very proud of Hannah,” said Shawna Heiser, the open recreation coordinator assigned to 97th Force Support Squadron. “She has been involved with youth programs for nearly four years. Hannah is dedicated to the Keystone Club, education and to helping others.”

This is not Hannah Bradley’s first experience with this award; she was the 97th AMW’s Youth of the Year for 2017.

“I feel a lot more confident this time around now that I know what I’m in for,” said Hannah Bradley. “I’ve struggled with public speaking, but I feel confident in my abilities. I think this will be a great platform to reach more people about topics I truly care about.”

The scholarship Hannah Bradley hopes to win will go toward her goal of studying psychology at a university. She attributes her success to her military upbringing and the people in her life.

“I am grateful for my military life because of my dad and the help my mom and Ms. Heiser gave me to get at this point,” said Hannah Bradley. “Being part of the military has opened my eyes to the different people and cultures. I would recommend everybody move at least one time in their life. After school, I would like to continue talking to new people with psychology and help them deal with their problems.”

In April 2019, Hannah Bradley will go to Oklahoma City to compete at the state military level in order to make her way to the regionals. She has already written the required three essays and is perfecting her speech she will give in front of four judges.

“I love the opportunity that the Youth Center has given me,” said Hannah Bradley. “A lot of kids are under pressure with what to do with their life and the Youth Center is perfect for that. Some people just think of the Youth Center as daycare, but it’s more than that; it’s an opportunity to connect with their peers and a chance to give back to their community.”