Minot teen brings home ACC Youth of Year award

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Air Combat Command recently named a Minot Air Force Base teen as its Youth of the Year for 2006. 

Eighteen-year-old Ashley Amireh, daughter of retired Chief Master Sgt. Harry and Sandra Cappel, received the award which recognizes outstanding achievements and accomplishments of youth program members ages 14 to 18, who have demonstrated service to youth centers and communities, achieved academic excellence and made family contributions. 

“I’m very honored to receive this award,” said Ms. Amireh. “I was shocked when I found out, but it feels great.” 

Some of Ashley’s many accomplishments that garnered the award were her involvement in the Above and Beyond Tutoring program, 4-H, the Magic City Campus student council and the Character Counts council. Ashley has also volunteered almost 600 hours of her time to community involvement. Among her many accolades she is the recipient of the Presidential Freedom Scholarship and multiple Youth of the Quarter awards. 

Ashley credits her family and Youth Programs for helping her along her journey.
“My family is always there when I need them,” she said. “Sometimes when I’m in need they’re there to give me that extra push and support. Kimberly Sheridan has also been important to me because of her encouragement.” 

According to Ms. Sheridan, 5th Services Squadron teen coordinator, Ashley is dedicated, enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with. 

“[Ashley] has incredible energies and a refreshing idealism ,” she said. “We’re expecting big things from Ashley in the way of educational and community leadership in the years to come.” 

According to Ashley, the Youth Center’s role in her achieving this award was very important. 

“The Youth Center gave me a place to explore, learn and grow,” she said. “It allowed me to make changes, be a role model and help improve my community.” 

According to Ronda Knutson, 5th SVS Youth Programs director, the Youth Center is exceptionally proud of Ashley. 

“She has been such a great help to us,” she said. “She’s always willing to give back to the community, be a positive role model for youth and be a leader among her peers.”
According to Ashley’s parents, they’re extremely proud of her as any parent would be but there’s more to the ACC youth of the year than just an award. 

“Whether Ashley won this award or not is not what’s important,” said Mrs. Cappel. 
“What’s important is that she worked hard at the things she believed in and that she gave back to her community through Minot Air Force Base Youth Programs. Since we’ve retired from the Air Force and moved off base, our children have really missed being just around the corner from the Youth Center. Minot’s Youth Center has a host of professionals working there, to include the many volunteers, and we want to thank them all for making the last seven years enjoyable. We wish every community could have what our children had here and we’ll miss it dearly when we move this summer.”
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