Exchange Club honors seven area students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 24, 2003

At their meeting Thursday, the Exchange Club of Troy honored seven high school senior finalists and named two winners in their 2002-2003 Youth of the Year essay contest.

This year's theme was "America's Young Patriots-Believing and Achieving for a Better America."

Students were asked to write at least three pages on the topic and a male and female finalist was chosen from each high school.

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Dan Smith, who is the Youth of the Year Chairman, said it was difficult to determine a male and female winner.

"These young people represent the bright future of Troy, Alabama and of America," he said.

The seven student finalists were Courtney Caffey and Shelton McMillon from Pike County High School; Casey Campbell and Chase Long from Pike Liberal Arts School; Amanda Drivas and Thomas Price from Goshen High School; and David Doty from Charles Henderson High School.

Each finalist received a plaque and a $50 check.

Doty and Campbell won the essay contest and were also named Pike County Youth of the Year.

Each of them will receive a $500 savings bond.

The two students and their parents will also appear as special guests at the next Exchange Club meeting and Doty and Campbell will read their award-winning essays.

In his essay, Doty said his generation must follow in the footsteps of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.

"John F. Kennedy encouraged each American not to wait for America to give a helping hand, but for each American to be the helping hand," he wrote.

"I believe my era of patriots has the ability to improve America and follow in our ancestors' footsteps."

Campbell discussed the unique opportunities capitalism gives Americans.

"Capitalism is not exclusive," she wrote.

"American are given equal opportunity, but individuals are responsible for their own achievements…It is important that the successful citizens of the United States not only be entrepreneurs, but also philanthropists."

Along with their essays, the students also had to submit an official high school transcript for their last two-and-a-half years of school, a photograph and an application listing awards and activities.

Doty's and Campbell's essays will advance to district competition and then possibly to national competition.

Cheyenne Martin an be reached via e-mail at cheyenne.