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Sarah Brown, 2008 Young Woman of Achievement

Sarah Brown, 2008 Young Woman of Achievement

“She leads and works incredibly hard to empower others so that they too can lead.” Those words from Sarah Brown’s teacher, Jeri Swatosh of the Vancouver School for Arts and Academics (VSAA), summarize why Sarah Brown is a 2008 Young Woman of Achievement.

Sarah Brown’s family moved to Vancouver when she was eight years old. She is currently a senior at VSAA, studying voice and band as well as advanced placement courses in Calculus, Literature, Comparative Government History and Language.  She has ranked first in her class for the last four years. 

While excelling in her classes, she also serves in several leadership positions including her role as vice president of the National Honor Society.

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In this role, she has organized her “favorite fundraiser” — selling wish stars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation whose mission is to give hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Sarah also coordinates the annual all-school event known as “Day of Caring,” where VSAA students and staff members engage in community service for an entire school day.  Over 30 VSAA service projects have benefited organizations in Clark County including the Red Cross, YWCA, Locks of Love, Southwest Washington Humane Society, area elementary schools and many more.  To make “Day of Caring” possible, Sarah and another student have facilitated grants and transportation and organized project leaders and student participation.  Through Sarah’s example, other young people have been inspired to become Youth Project Leaders, a group of upperclassmen in the school who lead the school’s community projects. 

Sarah also demonstrates leadership through her involvement in the Clover Crest Equestrian 4-H Club.  She joined the club when she was eight years old; mostly, she says, because of her longing to work with horses and meet new people.  Now, eight years later, she continues to play a vital role as a mentor and leader, boosting the confidence of younger riders and improving their riding skills. She has served as club president for the past three years.   

Sarah’s work with Guide Dogs for the Blind demonstrates her compassion for others. In the past seven years, she has raised four puppies, three of which have gone on to become guide dogs for the visually impaired.  Sarah understands that raising guide dogs is a major undertaking, with responsibilities such as feeding, brushing, training and socializing requiring several hours each day.

Her teacher Jeri Swatosh may have put it best: “Sarah’s leadership is creating an amazing force of other young people who care deeply about their community and want to take charge in making a difference.”

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