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The City Journals

Sandy Exchange Club honors local high school students

Apr 26, 2017 09:11AM ● By Julie Slama

Valley High’s Jasmynn Meaux and Bailey Stuckey were honored with the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence award from the Sandy Exchange Club. (Sandy Exchange Club)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Two Sandy high school students recently were awarded Youth of the Year awards by the Sandy Exchange Club.
Alta High School’s Kiara Vargas and Jordan High School’s Alex Schneider were selected for their high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership, said Exchange Club Chair of Youth Awards Connie Carter.
The two were recently recognized at a breakfast meeting, where they received plaques and $300 checks, and invited to read essays they wrote based on the theme, “Inspiring a Community to Become a Better Place.”
Carter said that there were several capable candidates from the Youth of Month awards to review, but because the Exchange Club of Sandy is a service organization, they look heavily at each student's involvement in area service projects.
“Kiara helped form her school’s Latino in Action club and has united students together by doing service work for other students and people in the community,” Carter said.  “Alex struggled as a freshman, so now he understands the issues involved and has been an advocate for those new freshmen at his school.”
Since 1980, Sandy Exchange Club has been involved in its work in youth activities, community service such as establishing Sandy Pride Day, and working toward the prevention of child abuse, the National Exchange Club’s primary project.  They also have been active in the community during Sandy’s Fourth of July celebration, assisting at the Ronald McDonald House, ringing bells for Salvation Army, helping Sandy Police with “Shopping with a Cop” activities and other service work.
Through the year, three high school students from Alta, Jordan and Hillcrest High (in Midvale) were honored as Youth of the Month.  Besides Kiara and Alex, those honored include Jordan High’s Sydney Jensen; Alta High’s Britton Grossen; and Hillcrest High’s Cade Kartchner and Soyoung Jeon. 
At breakfast meetings, the students come with their parents and counselors and students talk about their achievements before their parents and counselors get an opportunity to share about the students.  They also are presented with a plaque and a $200 check.
“It gives the students a chance to talk about themselves, to present themselves in a relaxed atmosphere as well as hear how proud their parents are of them.  It’s rewarding for them to hear it as well as the Club to learn more about these outstanding individuals,” she said.
The Exchange Club also honors two Valley High School students with the ACE award, which stands for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence.  Selected by the school’s principal and counselors, the award recognizes students who have made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance, Carter said.
“It’s a special award based on the young person’s story of overcoming adversity and hardships.  These young women have worked hard to overcome adversity.  One of them wants to be a nurse and the other, a pharmaceutical administrator,” she said.
Valley High’s Bailey Stuckey and Jasmyn Meaux each received a plaque and $300 for the award.
Selected by the Sandy Club and classroom teachers, the Exchange Club presented the Young Citizenship Award to Hunter Jarvis, of Mt. Jordan Middle School, and Jennifer Tamayo, of Jordan High. They each received a certificate, $25 movie gift card and a $50 check.  

“Jennifer has been a good role model for elementary and middle school students and has shown a commitment to the community through being an active Club member.  Hunter already is a role model for his brother and has been helpful to people in the community, especially teachers,” Carter said.
The Young Citizenship Award winners were honored at a Club breakfast, where they were invited to share what the Sandy Club has meant to them and their future goals.  Their parents as well as Sandy Club Director Linda Saville also spoke about the student leaders.
“We’re proud of the accomplishments of our students and the commitments they’ve made to the community.  These awards honor the good work they’ve done,” Carter said.