The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) recently held a special Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) Recognition and Special Awards Program honoring high school students from eight area high schools.

Mrs. Nancy Alguire, MFST president; LTC Bob Russell, USA, (Ret);  MAJ Jim Haney, USMC (Ret); 1LT Tom Hart, USA (Fmr); from the local chapter and LTC Steve Hodges from the Clearwater chapter accompanied 43 students (38 from Hillsborough County schools and 5 from Pinellas County schools) on a bus from Sun City Center to Tallahassee, Florida, to attend the youth conference sponsored by MOWW.  The Hillsborough County students attending the conference were from the following eight high schools: Brandon HS; Durant HS; Lennard HS; Newsome HS; Plant City HS; Riverview HS, Spoto HS: and Steinbrenner HS.  Students from Pinellas County were from the following four high schools:  Boca Ciega HS; Dixie Hollins HS; Dunedin HS; and Gibbs HS.

Each team selected a candidate, based on his/her leadership skills, to compete for the Outstanding Conference Student (OCS).  The seven OCS candidates appeared before a panel of five adult YLC officials who evaluated each student based on their appearance, demeanor, and responses to five questions. The judges selected Gold Team member Kenya Smith from Newsome High School to be the 2018 Outstanding Conference Student.

The Military Family Support Trust (MFST) is also a participator and contributor to the YLC program and retired BG Colin Howgill, RM (Ret) and Nancy Alguire presented Cadet Kenya Smith a check for $250.

Robert Russell, who has been managing the YLC programs for the past four years, was presented with a special Certificate of Appreciation from LTC David Mason, USA (Ret), Clearwater Chapter, for organizing, running and executing the transportation plan to move all 47 students and their chaperones from Sun City Center to Tallahassee to attend the annual Youth Leadership Conference. 

During the annual four-day conference in Tallahassee FL, the students were given several projects and various lectures on leadership, U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the private enterprise system.  They also visited the Florida State Capitol, the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, and the Florida Supreme Court.

The Color Guard, Cadets Jacob Johnson and Lilia Romero, were from Riverview High School.  Bob Russell presented the MOWW Youth Merit Medal to Dylan Radley, from Lennard HS and Jim Haney, local MOWW commander, presented a Bronze Patrick Henry Medallion to Kenya Smith and Gwyneth Kaighin from Newsom HS, and Adrian Delarosa, from Brandon HS. 

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