TIFTON — The Tifton Exchange Club will be recognizing 12 of the area’s top high school seniors as Youth of the Year Finalists at a luncheon to be held on Monday, March 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn.  

The 12 high school seniors were judged on the basis of their extracurricular activities, grades, a short essay and a longer essay on the “HOW I AM A CATALYST IN MY COMMUNITY.” A point system has been assigned to each of the categories. Points were averaged to determine the winner.  All participants will receive plaques and a monetary award in recognition of their achievements. The student chosen as the “Youth of the Year” by the Exchange Club of Tifton will receive a plaque and a $500 scholarship to be used to further their education. The local winner will be entered in the state “Youth of the Year” competition and compete for a trip to the Georgia District Convention in Macon in June.

Tift County High School students competing for the award are:


• Riley Melissa Roberts, daughter of Richard and Christy Cavenaugh.

• Haley Alexander, daughter of Chad and Stephanie Alexander.  

• Anna Weldon, daughter of Jeanna and John Waddell and Mickey & Michelle Weldon.    

• Taylor Holmes, daughter of Xavier and April Holmes.

• Joshua May, son of Stephen and Sonya May.

• Emily Eason, daughter of Robbie Eason and Missy Eason.  

Tiftarea Academy students in the competition were:

• Anna Cook, daughter of Drs. Hank and Leah Cook.    

• Peyton Matt, daughter of Joey and Pam Matt.    

• Maddie Rae Harper, daughter of Terry and Paula Harper.

• Samuel Cook, son of Drs. Hank and Leah Cook.

• Megan Gaines, daughter of Richard and Kaye Gaines.

• Jane Margaret McEachin, daughter of Drs. David and Jill McEachin.

The Exchange Club is appreciative of the cooperation and assistance of Dr. Larry Creamer, Dean of Students at Tiftarea Academy and Mrs. Amber Cheshire, School Counselor at Tift County High School.

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