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McConnell's youth of the year; always putting others first

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Helping others have a better day is something Sara Dial, 18-year-old daughter
of Master Sgt. (Ret.) David Dial, enjoys doing whenever she can. Whether it's helping out through the McConnell Youth Center or through her school's ROTC program, Ms. Dial is always getting involved in activities for children and elderly people.

Her participation in many volunteer opportunities recently landed her the title of Youth of the Year for McConnell, winning a trophy, a savings bond and a commander's coin.

"I was so excited," said Ms. Dial. "I ran last year against Christina Martinez and she beat me, so I was happy to win this year."

For the Youth Center, Ms. Dial helped out with many children's events, such as Youth Day of Caring, Family Festival of Fun and Easter Extravaganza. At the Family Festival of Fun, she made treats for the kids, and at the Easter Extravaganza she helped them with arts and crafts and hid Easter eggs.

She was also the vice president of the Keystone club, which creates volunteer opportunities for teens.

Her involvement with her high school ROTC program included a lot of volunteer hours. She helped out at the Sedgwick County Zoo and at the Wichita marathon.

To compete for the award, Ms. Dial had a list of tasks to complete including nine essays about her accomplishments. She also had to maintain a high grade point average and have good moral character.

Aside from this award, Ms. Dial has competed for a few other titles and received the "Who's Who" title, ranking in the top five percent of students in the nation.

She also ran for the Kansas Youth of the Year where she was up against four other people from the state. Contestants gave a 15-minute interview about their accomplishments and a speech to their parents about why the Boys and Girls Club is important to them.

"I met people from all over the state so it was a really cool experience," said Ms. Dial.Ms. Dial graduated from Derby High School and plans to attend Ozark Technical Community College in the fall majoring as a surgical technician. "I want to continue volunteering once I get settled after moving," said Ms. Dial. "It gives me a good sense of happiness and it makes me feel good."