>   Seventeen-year-old Cassia Fox has been selected as the 2002 Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Jefferson County.
   The award includes a $1,000 scholarship and is sponsored by the Reader's Digest Association to recognize exemplary character, superior leadership skills, and outstanding service to Boys and Girls Clubs, the community and academic achievement.
   A four-year member of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Jefferson County, Fox is a positive role model for today's young people. She has been involved in student government throughout her high school career, is a student coordinator and leader with the Jefferson County Peer Court, has traveled to Mexico with other youth to construct housing for Mexican families, and is a representative of the Oregon Association of Student Councils.
   Fox has worked and volunteered at the club during the summer since 1998.
   The runner up for this year's competition was Rosalba Barboza, a senior at Madras High School. Barboza has been in leadership roles within the club, volunteered in various capacities and has been a club member since its inception in 1998.
   Local winner Fox will compete against other Boys and Girls Club youth from clubs in LaPine, Bend, Redmond, Prineville, and Terrebonne for the opportunity to represent Central Oregon in Salem for the Oregon State Youth of the Year title.
   The Redmond club has produced not only the two Central Oregon winners the last two year, but both also went on to win the Oregon State Youth of the Year title.
   Five regional winners selected from among the state winners will receive $5,000 scholarships and compete of the national honor in Washington, D.C., where the National Youth of the Year will be installed by the president in a White House ceremony in September.
   The national winner will receive an additional $10,000 scholarship from The Reader's Digest Association, sponsor of the event since 1947.
   The competition had six judges who volunteered their time for this tough job. They were Sue Fuller, Jefferson County Health Inspector, Mack Gardner, Director Jefferson County Commission on Children and Families, Marie Glenn, Jefferson County ESD Board Chair, and Westside Elementary teachers Margie Long, Maria Randle and Kathy White.
   "These were both exceptional young people and I appreciate the judges roles in making a tough decision. It was something I am glad I could watch from the outside," said Central Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club Director Grant Faulconer.
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