2016 AHA Youth of the Year: Flora ElmColone, Region 2
At the 2016 Annual AHA Membership Convention in Tulsa, OK it was announced that Santa Ynez Valley, California youth Flora ElmColone is the recipient of the 2016 AHA Youth of the Year award.
Our Youth of the Year has also been an important part of the Arabian Horse Youth Association, serving as the Region 2 Youth Director in 2013-2015, she was then elected as the AHYA Secretary in 2015, and is now serving as the AHYA President.
Flora is passionate about the Arabian horse, from convincing her friends that Arabian horses are the best breed, to getting youth and trainers to take time to have fun and get to know each other.
Her efforts within the Arabian horse community have led her to strive to be a positive influence on AHYA and to be a role model for those who aspire to become further involved in the Arabian horse community. She believes that the Arabian horse youth community can and will grow – that youth are the stepping stones to a bright future.
Flora’s credentials, pursuit of excellence, personality, and support for the Arabian horse are just some of the attributes that we, as the Arabian Horse Association want to represent as our Youth of the Year. We would like to present her with the Youth of the Year perpetual trophy, a personalized carved wood form photograph sponsored by the Cottage Craftsman, as well as a $1000 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Youth Association!
Flora ElmColone is a leader among her peers, serving her breed and others with a selfless attitude and the heart of a champion. AHA is proud to call her our 2016 ‘Youth of the Year’.
AHA would also like to congratulate, Miss Emily Barker from Region 1 as the first runner-up for ‘Youth of the Year’ also earning a $500 scholarship sponsored by All Things Equine and Miss Tessa Kimbler from Region 6, as the second runner-up. Congrats to all!
Below is the transcript of the Youth of the Year Award results presentation from the 2016 AHA Annual Membership Convention in Tulsa, OK. The presentation was made by 2016 Youth of the Year Selection Sub-Committee Chair, Debbie Price of Region 1.
Thank you, it is an honor to serve as the chair of the Youth of the Year sub-committee. I’d like to begin by recognizing those who joined me in selecting the 2016 winner:
AHA President, Cynthia Richardson
AHA’s Director of Marketing, Julian McPeak
Youth Committee Vice-Chair, Cindy Howey
Region 17 Director, Terry Johnson
AHA youth members are anything but average! The Youth of the Year award honors annually one outstanding youth member. Criteria for this prestigious award is based on his or her achievements and contributions to the Arabian horse industry, to AHA and lastly to his or her community. Our past winners have been outstanding ambassadors for the breed and have gone on to represent us exceptionally well – not just in the Arabian horse industry but in the equine industry as a whole.
Each year, our committee is privileged to review these applications, giving us a chance to learn about some of our brightest youth members and then personally interview the final candidates. Each of the finalists presented their own strengths, passions and insights in various areas. We continue to be amazed each year with the quality of the youth members that are a part of this organization.
Region 6 has reason to be proud of a particular young lady named Tessa Kimbler. Tessa is extremely involved in her school and community. She has been a member of her school’s Student Senate; giving her the opportunity to learn responsibility, leadership skills, and the experience of working on fundraisers to support other projects throughout the school year. Tessa is extremely involved in her school sports, such as gymnastics, soccer and running. Even after Tessa broke her ankle last summer, she came back from her injury better and stronger than before. We congratulate Tessa on her many achievements and as the Second Runner-up for Youth of the Year.
Region 1 was also well represented this year by a bright and charismatic young woman by the name of Emily Barker. Emily has played a huge role in the Arabian horse Industry by serving as the Region 1 youth Director, and was last year’s AHYA Vice President. She is dedicated to growing the involvement of individuals aging out of the youth division. She is driven in finding a way to keep our youth involved in the Arabian horse industry and to encourage them to keep a hand in the industry during their college years. Furthermore, Emily is very involved in her university. She volunteers with her sorority, has been on the Dean’s list for two semesters and has been awarded a position as a University Ambassador. The first runner up for the Youth of the Year will be awarded a $500 scholarship sponsored by All Things Equine. Congratulations Emily for being the 2016 first runner up for the Youth of the Year and being the recipient of the $500 scholarship.
With so many bright futures placed before us, it was certainly difficult to choose a single winner. This year, one candidate distinguished herself, with her passion for the Arabian horse breed; with her desire to help youth, and to bring people in the industry together, and above all, her perseverance in every aspect of her life. It is now my distinct honor to describe to you an outstanding youth from Region 2.
Compassion, humility, and motivation are the foundation of this young woman’s approach to life. Through her high school career, she has taken on numerous advanced placement classes. She has a desire for teaching and has volunteered for a science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics program, also known as STEM. She has done numerous internships, helped in various ways in classrooms and tutoring sessions and this year, is the President of the Future Educators of America club at her high school. Not only is she competitive in academics, but she is competitive in sports as well. She recently made the switch from track and field to tennis last year, walking onto the varsity team. However, her true passion lies in her love of music and songwriting. She has composed over 200 songs so far and hopes to continue to do so for the rest of her life.
Moreover, our Youth of the Year has and is an important part of the Arabian Horse Youth Association. She served as the Region 2 youth director from 2013 to 2015, was elected as the AHYA Secretary in 2015, and now is serving as the AHYA President. During her years as the Region 2 Youth Director and the AHYA Secretary, and now as the AHYA President, she has started and continues to create activities and fundraising opportunities in her region to encourage youth and adults to get to know each other more and to help grow their involvement in the industry.
Then again, it is not just about the fundraising for her. She also has been an advocate along the way. Even in places where she is not surrounded by the Arabian horse industry she tries to educate people about the versatility of our breed and the productivity of the organization.
Her efforts within the Arabian horse community has led her to strive to be a positive influence on AHYA and to be a role model for those who aspire to become further involved in the Arabian horse community. She believes that the Arabian horse youth community can and will grow – that youth are the stepping stones to a bright future.
Her passion, pursuit of excellence, personality, and support of the Arabian horse are just some of the attributes that we, as Arabian Horse Association members want to represent us as our Youth of the Year. We would like to present her with the Youth of the Year perpetual trophy, a personalized carved wood form photograph sponsored by the Cottage Craftsman, as well as a $1000 scholarship from the Arabian Horse Youth Association.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present to you, from Santa Ynez Valley, California and Region 2, your 2016 Youth of the Year, Miss Flora ElmColone.