Maxwell C. Pinkston of Martinsville is a senior at Martinsville High School and a dual enrollment/AP student. He is an Eagle Scout candidate with the Boy Scouts of America who led the construction of a children's play area at the new Rooster Walk site in Axton. He is a member of The Order of the Arrow, Scouting's National Honor Society; Key Club; National Beta Club; Technology Student Association (secretary, 2014-15); and varsity soccer, swim and golf teams. He took part in the Virginia High School League Leadership Conference this year; the Montreat Youth Conferences and Planning Board; and was a youth adviser to the Session, First Presbyterian Church (2013-14).
"I have the qualifications needed to be on the Harvest Youth board. I consider myself an enthusiastic leader, I work well in large and small groups, I communicate well, and am good at listening to the ideas of others. ... I want to invest my time and our money to make Martinsville a place where I would like to stay and raise a family."
Karli E. Foster of Collinsville is a junior at Bassett High School. She was a page in the Virginia Senate in 2013, on the Henry County Schools Superintendent's Student Advisory Board 2012-15, Bassett High School marching band, swim team, SCA, academic competition math team, and Junior Beta Club and Beta Club. She has been involved in CHILL, 4H and RELATE training, and has volunteered with numerous events and groups.
"Serving on the Harvest Youth Board would give me the opportunity to focus on youth related issues in Martinsville and Henry County and hopefully develop projects that would address these issues. I feel this board could have a huge impact not only on the youth in our community, but our community as a whole."
Kendall R. Cope of Bassett is a junior at Bassett High School. He was Junior Beta Club treasurer (August 2013-May 2014); received a perfect score on the geometry Standards of Learning test, the second person since 2009; and is a Beta Club member. He has volunteered with the Faith Fellowship, Patrick County Library, SPCA and Bassett High School.
"The first and main reason that I want to be a member of this board is to be a leader in our community. I want to hold a position in our community where I can be an inspiration to others and make a difference, and I think being on this board is the perfect chance to make an impact. If I have the chance to serve as a member my main goal would be to work with the other members to make Martinsville and Henry County a place where young people can have fun ways to spend their time, but be doing it in a positive way."
Kristel J. Hairston of Martinsville is a senior at Magna Vista High School. She is a member of the National Beta Club, National Society of Black Engineers, school show choir, MHC After 3, CHILL/RELATE and V.O.I.C.E. (Warrior Tech Academy), among other things, and is a Warrior Tech Academy tour guide. She has volunteered with Martinsville/Henry County 4-H, the Society of Black Engineers and the Beta Club.
"Being given an opportunity to serve on this board would not only help me to become more involved with my community, and also assist me in enhancing my leadership, mentoring, and decision making skills. I want to build closer relationships with young adults in my area and also help make sure their voices are heard in the decisions made on their behalf."
Sean Arroyo is a sophomore at Carlisle School. He is involved in CHILL (Communities Helping Improve Local Lives) and is a volunteer for the SPCA.
"I desire to join the Harvest Youth Board, not because it looks good on a college resume, but because I feel as though education and health is taken for granted. In the U.S., education isn't valued nearly as much as it should be. ...I believe that this foundation will bring a much needed focus to the poor education system ... and will bring better health conditions for those who are afflicted with illnesses."
Taisha DeShazo of Henry County is a senior at Magna Vista High School. She has volunteered with her church and school, at a nursing home, with a community cleanup, with youth and with a canned food drive. She is on the Magna Vista girls basketball and softball teams and is in the Warrior Tech Academy there.
"I would like to participate on this board because my motto is 'Everybody is somebody.' The Harvest Foundation would allow me to ... give my input on things that need to be done in our County. Being a teenager in today's society is very hard, so with me being on the board I would base my ideas on everyday living that I or we experience on a day-by-day basis. Also, this would be a great opportunity for me to pursue as I work towards my college career. I am dedicated to making the city and county a place where everyone has the opportunity to live, work, and play."
Sophia Esdaile is a sophomore in the Warrior Tech Academy at Magna Vista High School. She's on the A/B Honor Roll and she's received two Anchor papers. She's also volunteered for the Magna Vista Boosters Club, participated in the Sandy Level Stop the Violence Walk, was a member of Girl Scout Troop No. 943, and volunteered for a Martinsville Christmas Charity Event.
"MHC faces many challenges today, and youth development is high on the list. My concerns for MHC have led me to volunteer for several organizations; namely Girl Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club, and Magna Vista Boosters, among others. My feeling is that you have to participate in order to make things better."
Mariah A. Holland of Martinsville is a junior at Martinsville High School who also is pursuing an associate degree at Patrick Henry Community College. She is class president and was chosen to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Law & CSI. She is a member of the SCAEL team, varsity basketball team, softball team, marching band, cross country, SCA (class president freshman and sophomore years), Key Club and Beta Club, and is a tutor.
"The saying, 'A mind is a terrible thing to waste' holds true for all ages. However, it is more important for the youth of MHC as we are the future leaders of our community. I believe it is important for young people to take an active role in participating in endeavors that will help create a better community for not only our generation but those hereafter."
Alexandra Hornsby of Martinsville is a senior at Carlisle School. Her activities include CHILL, Master Gardeners Greenhouse, Carlisle School plays -- technical assistant, SPCA, Broad Street Christian Church member, Carlisle School rummage sale volunteer, Carlisle School Mentoring Program, Carlisle School field hockey and NC Tardevils Field Hockey Club.
"I would like to become a bigger part of my community by helping to make decisions that will benefit others and the area around them. I love being a part of a team, being able to share ideas and thoughts and having fun while doing so. Dedication is a big thing for me and I will 100% be dedicated to this board and this community. This community has given me many opportunities I'm very thankful for and I want to give back as much as I can."
Devin Page is a junior at Magna Vista High School. He has served as president of FFA, team captain of the baseball team, vice president of the student body, and he's a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club and HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). Page has received several awards including the LANCER Award (two-time winner), Homerun Derby Champion, First Teal All District 2nd Baseman, FFA Quiz State Bowl, and he's won numerous academic awards.
"I want to serve on the Harvest Youth Board because I want to make a positive change in the lives of other youth in Martinsville and Henry County. As a Christian, it is my duty to impact the lives of my peers in a helpful manner. ... I am a native of Martinsville and Henry County, and I know that our hometown needs to be more youth friendly. Having played travel baseball since I was eight years old, I have seen many towns that are geared towards the development of their youth."
Luis Romero of Martinsville is a junior at Martinsville High School. He has been involved in the After School Art Club, Beta Club, National Society of Black Engineers, Education Boys: Keeping it Straight, and WMHS8 (broadcast announcements). He also received the 2011 Bruce H.T. Dallas Sr. Outstanding Student Award.
"There are many reasons why I would like to serve on the Harvest Foundation Youth Board, but the biggest reason is that I would like to see the city that I have lived in for many years and I call home to prosper, to unite and grow. I would like to be able to make decisions of the use of money and support to help the youth of Martinsville take dream projects and make them a reality. Projects that would help our city prosper, but most importantly the youth of our community. Projects that are the dream of committed people that have a goal of success in their plan. Projects that will lead Martinsville's youth in the direction of success."
Julian Vaughn is a junior at Martinsville High School. He is a member of NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers), and he has attended the SAE Government Convention for the past three years. Vaughn also is a video and technical producer for WMHS8 and MHS This Evening, newscasts produced out of Martinsville High School.
"People in our own town refer to Martinsville as the Ghetto and people often when referring to problems in Martinsville say 'It's Just Martinsville' in a sense that this area is nothing. While many people like to just complain about Martinsville and the surrounding areas, I actually want to see a change in Martinsville. I personally think the best way for change is through our youth."
Cameron Glenn Brummitt of Ridgeway is a graduate of Magna Vista High School and Patrick Henry Community College, and he was the former Vice Chairman of the Youth Board. He was a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society and, among other things, was on the school's varsity baseball team (and also was team captain) and the swim team (captain, 2013-14).
"Our community has been through detrimental and depressing eras. The youth of our community have been given the responsibility to ensure these unfortunate times do not occur again in the future. Serving on the Harvest Youth Board gives me an even greater responsibility to guarantee that the youth-related issues in Martinsville-Henry County will be resolved."
Candace Simone Foster of Martinsville is a graduate of Martinsville High School and Patrick Henry Community College. She was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and received the Academic Excellence Award and the Tri-Regional Math Award, both in 2014. She has worked as a tutor in Richmond; volunteered with several organizations; and was a member of Martinsville junior varsity soccer, National Society of Black Engineers (secretary) and CHILL.
"I feel I have lots of innovative, practical and solution-based ideas to many of the problems or the roadblocks much of the youth faces today. I would love to be part of the solution. I want the opportunity to offer my perspective, my time and my energy. I feel that I am in the perfect position to do so. I have been a part of three different communities in the past 11 years of my life. The communities that I have lived in ranged from a small rural community to a large metropolitan area ... ."
Cody Mills of Martinsville is a graduate of Carlisle School. He received a volunteer service award from the Virginia Senate and Citizen of the Year Award in 2013, and he was a member of the varsity fencing team, varsity tennis team, debate club and several theater productions. He was student council class president 2012-13, Honor Council sophomore representative 2013-14 and Student Council treasurer 2014-15.
"I want to be a member of the Harvest Foundation Youth Board because I want to be a part of the incredible opportunities that the Harvest Foundation works to make possible for this town... People deserve to realize how great the town they are living in is and to feel as if they can reach their full potential in this town. I wish to make this a reality by being a part of the decisions being made by the board and offering the opinion of the youth so that all sides of the spectrum are being represented and so that Martinsville can move forward a pleasing environment to the whole of its population."
Ana Paulina Vazquez-Llamas of Martinsville is a graduate of Martinsville High School and was the first Chairperson of the Youth Board. She was a dual enrollment, AP and Piedmont Governor's School for Math Science and Technology student. Her activities included Key Club, National Beta Club, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, varsity girls soccer team, concert band, advanced band and HOSA. She was sophomore class president in 2013-14 and was a RELATE peer leader in 2013-15.
"When many young people think of Martinsville and Henry County, sadly, they think of how they yearn to leave this small town for good. However, I differ from most young people, and I believe that Martinsville is an incredible town to live in. The Harvest Youth Board is an incredible opportunity for young people like myself to make their voice heard. So many citizens of Martinsville criticize this town, but so little actually do anything to change it. I am lucky to call Martinsville my hometown ..."
Phillip Javan Williams of Bassett is a graduate of Bassett High School and Patrick Henry Community College as part of the ACE Academy. His activities have included the National Society of Black Engineers, 4-H Club, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, BETA Club and leader of the media ministry at Oak Hill Cathedral of Glory. He also has been a teen counselor at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Center in Wirtz.
"Growing up in Henry County/Martinsville, I and many of my peers felt as though there was nothing to do here, and frankly there isn't much, and the things that are here just feel like glorified school-sponsored events, which equal boring. As a member of the Youth Board, I know what today's students are thinking because I am one, and I can help tailor events so that students actually come and have a great time while being there. This is my chance to make a legacy, a legacy that consists of projects that will leave a true, lasting impact on the community."