If anyone ever had any fears about the future of Oregon, they need only peruse the pages of the special section Amazing Kids inserted in the May 10 edition of this newspaper.
Three years ago, our staff set out on a mission to find outstanding children in our community. Because of the stories we regularly publish, we already knew there was a deep reservoir of talented and committed young people from which we could draw.
We'll admit that nominations for kids to recognize were slow at start, but have been steadily climbing to the half-dozen we received this year. And the quality of the nominations we have received assures us that the children in school today have the compassion and ability necessary to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Now, with our fourth annual Amazing Kids section, we still continue to be amazed of the high caliber of young people living in and serving the Newberg area.
We found children who are working to fight hunger. We found exemplary students who aren't content to be classroom stars unless they also can help their peers do better in school. We discovered young people with the desire to improve their community.
We could only choose one out of six students nominated this year to represent Newberg in the special section and at a gala event in Portland last week. We chose Antonio Peña Anaya, a senior at Newberg High School with a passion to represent the Hispanic community, both on campus and in the greater community.
It also would not be possible without you, our readers, who nominated these young people. The Newberg area has proven time and time again that it supports and cherishes its youth, and this project is just one way in which that has been made apparent. So thank you, too, for your support of the next generation.
While we are honoring these specific youths, we also recognize that they really are representative of a much larger group of young people doing good things in their schools and the community. We hope to honor even more next year.
And that's what really should give everyone an optimistic outlook for the future. These kids are truly amazing — and there are many more out there just like them.