Grand Forks AFB youth wins ND State Military Youth of the Year
By Airman 1st Class Ryan Sparks, 319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 06, 2016
GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Olivia Burch was named the Boys and Girls Club of America North Dakota State Military Youth of the Year April 16, 2016, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Burch is the daughter of David Burch, U.S. Navy retired, and Joanne Burch, 319th Air Base Wing youth center training and curriculum specialist. Burch feels she has benefited from growing up a military child.
"It has shown me that I am a strong, independent person," said Burch.
Burch represented Grand Forks AFB at the BGCA state competition and won. She received a $5,000 scholarship and is scheduled to compete in the regional competition July18-21, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. The winner of the regional competition will receive a scholarship that could be worth up to $40,000.
Burch said she put in a lot of work to win the award. She dedicated more than 243 hours of community service.
Burch is currently working on a project she calls Buddy Bench. She wants to put benches at schools that will raise awareness about bullying. She said that if a child feels like they need a friend, then they can go to the bench and that will tell other children that they need someone to be there for them.
Burch hopes to make a career in early childhood education and special education by attending the University of North Dakota. She wants to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs.
"I want them to believe in themselves," said Burch. "Just because you have a disability doesn't mean you can't live your dreams."