Juanita High School
Koumudi Thanda is senior at Juanita High School and is a Running Start student at Bellevue College. She describes herself as adaptable and quick-learning, qualifying throughout high school for Honor Society with a 3.8+ GPA and challenging courses. Koumudi expects to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, and earn an associate degree in arts and sciences from Bellevue College. Koumudi has been a constant presence in her community, volunteering at various non-profit organizations, in particular the Indian cultural organization Balanandam, and the healthcare organization BloodWorks Northwest. In addition to accumulating over 70 volunteer hours per year, she assumes active leadership roles. For example, Koumudi was selected as Honor Society director of marketing as a junior, and then voted president of National Honor Society as a senior. At BloodWorks NW she is the youngest volunteer recruitment ambassador, and the teen volunteer manager at Balanandam. Koumudi believes community service is crucial and routinely does her part. She uses community service as a means to develop and grow as a person while contributing whatever she can. Koumudi hopes to pursue a degree in healthcare management.
Lake Washington High School
Owen would like people to know that he is an example of how a community can bring out the best in youths. Like many young people, Owen's goals and aspirations for the future have been shaped in part by the community in which he lives. He is a product of opportunities within the Lake Washington School District and City of Kirkland, such as the WANIC Fire/EMS program and lifeguarding certification and swim programs at the Peter Kirk Pool.  These programs allowed him to discover his passion for rescue and public safety.  Confidence has not been his strength, but these opportunities and successes gave him the courage to pursue more. This year he was chosen as a Youth Ambassador for the Northwest Avalanche Center where he underwent weeks of training and preparation to deliver avalanche safety presentations to youths. This is important to him because a large portion of backcountry ski and avalanche accidents involve teens. He feels he is making a difference in his community and perhaps even preventing tragedies. Owen plans to continue these efforts in college and, ultimately, earn a bachelor’s degree in a field that compliments his public safety work.