The National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) offers members an online program that rewards youth for leadership and community service activities outside of the show arena. The Varsity Reining Club (VRC) provides scholarships totaling $5,000, to be awarded to the most active participants in two age groups. In its sixth year, VRC will provide 13 youth scholarship monies, with the top-placing individual in each age group receiving special recognition as “Youths of the Year.”
Youth members are awarded points by doing any combination of projects listed at vrc.nrhya.com. Participants can submit activity reports in four subject areas: philanthropy, creativity, publicity and academics. Members aged 14 years and older are placed in the varsity category and members 13 years and under are classified as junior varsity.
The top eight individuals in the varsity level earned $3,500 in scholarships collectively. The title of Varsity Youth of the Year was earned by Amy Stoney who earned 4,244 points by submitting more than 150 activities mainly in her favored area of photography. Stoney also logged participation in youth meetings, creative artwork and recorded her tales of reining horses in the creative writing category. Stoney, 15, is from McClave, Colo. and was named Junior Varsity Youth of the Year in 2010.
Second place went to Alexis Daggett who submitted more than 100 activities and earned 3,470 points for her work in philanthropy which included helping at horse shows in the North Central region and volunteering for community service with her FFA chapter.
Christi Gordon earned third place by accumulating 3,215 points for hours spent volunteering in her community and with the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Youth Association.
Fourth place went to Morgan Burns who earned 2,341 points by volunteering time at her local library as well as community service activities with the Auburn University Varsity Equestrian Team.
Reilly Quist earned fifth place and 1,670 points by tutoring local students at school and creating enhanced photos in the creative artwork category.
Sixth place was Mary Nuernberger with 1,110 points in submissions including good grades, community service, photography, fundraising and creative artwork.
Blair Willette earned seventh place with 1,075 points for her submissions in community service, photography, fundraising, pitching in, spreading the word and photography.
Rounding out the varsity scholarship earners was Tara Power in eighth place with 1,015 points for her more than 10 community service submissions which included volunteering with the children’s ministry at her church.
In the junior varsity level the top five individuals earned a total of $1,500 in scholarships. Jordan Scott earned the title ofJunior Varsity Youth of the Year, earning 1,000 points. She logged hundreds of hours of community service with various organizations, including a specialty drill team that presents the United States flag at functions in her area, as well as submissions in three of the four activity areas. Scott, 13, achieved her goal of earning a stall at the 2011 NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships through the VRC prize program and earned Youth of the Year in her first year of participation in the VRC program.
Rylee Justus earned second place with 775 points for her photography and involvement in her affiliate as an officer at meetings and helping out at horse shows.
Kaitlyn Boykinplaced third with 545 points for her submissions that included tutoring peers at school.
Fourth place was Samantha Fritz with 490 points for philanthropy submissions and good grades.
The fifth-place scholarship earner for the Junior Varsity level was Katie Firmin with 305 points for her work in her community, good grades, and photography submissions such as her award-winning submission of her horse Copper.
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