Team MacDill selects 2017 Military Youth of the Year

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Every year, one teenager between the ages of 14 and 18 who embodies the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and a healthy lifestyle is selected to be the Military Youth of Year at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

This year, a Jesuit High School sophomore Gregory Davis was awarded the title. Davis was recognized during a ceremony at the Youth Center, March 30th.

During the ceremony, Christopher Hug, the director of the youth center assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron, as well as Col. Patrick Miller, commander of the 6th Mission Support Group shared words of encouragement for the teen.

“Greg is the epitome of what the Youth of the Year means - character, leadership, strong academics and strong extracurricular activities,” said Hug “There’s an extensive process required to even be considered for judging, and he was able to pass that with flying colors.”

This program helps recognize a teen on a military base who has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and a drive to assist others.

“I was able to set up a camp for science, technology, engineering, art and math for others at the youth center,” said Davis. “Additionally, I lead a bowling camp over the summer.”

He began volunteering with the Youth Center in 2010. Since then, he has helped support all children here. Davis, while still a high schooler, is also considered a member of the Youth Center staff.

“Everything I’ve done for the Youth Center required a lot of work, but it never felt like work,” said Davis. “I could see that the other kids were very appreciative of what I was doing and their support definitely helped me get into the position I’m in now.”

Davis stated that one of his biggest improvements over the years of helping at the Youth Center is being able to get himself out and meet others.

“Now, I’m able to see which groups of people need some form of support,” said Davis. “I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and finding ways to better myself, while also sharing my improvements with others.”

With the MacDill Military Youth of the Year title under his belt, Davis has started the process of future judging. He is slated to compete for the regional title and a $5,000 scholarship in Orlando in early April. If he wins, he will then compete with youths across the U.S.

“I believe every youth in the Youth Center has a chance to be where I am today,” said Davis. “Find what drives you, and keep trying to improve yourself while assisting others along the way.”