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We look forward to hearing, and telling, the stories of amazing young people in western Washington County.

FILE - Amazing Kids featured in Pamplin Media Group's 2015 publication pose for a photo with publisher Mark Garber, left-center, and owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr., right-center.Every spring, we gather together and nominate the best and brightest children and young adults in our communities as part of our annual Amazing Kids awards.

Nominations are due Feb. 28, and we plan to announce two winners later this year — one from Hillsboro, and another from the Forest Grove area. Both will be profiled in a special magazine we'll put out later this year in all of Pamplin Media Group's newspapers across the state.

We've been giving out this award since 2014, and each year, we are blown away by the work these young people are doing. These students work tirelessly to make their communities a better place and make a difference in Washington County.

Our honorees excel in the areas of volunteerism and community service. In past years, these Amazing Kids have served as peer mentors, helped the underprivileged, served the sick and homeless, or overcome severe hardship to excel in school.

Why do we do this? It's simple, really. These children, whether they are volunteering at a homeless shelter or offering tutoring services after school, are creating a better world. Whether they make big contributions or small ones, each of these students are doing what so many of their adult peers fail to do: Take time out of their busy days to give back.

It's cliche to say that children are our future, but each year, these students give us hope that the future will be bright.

In an age when our communities are divided more than ever, these students inspire us to believe that the next generation won't have the same petty arguments of their parents.

This is one of the best times of our year, when we get to stand up and showcase the outstanding work being done by some of the youngest members of our community.

This year's Amazing Kids will be in great company. In addition to their profile in our annual Amazing Kids magazine, we'll whisk them and their families to a special gala presentation in Portland this spring, where they'll join more than 20 other amazing young people from across the Portland area.

Here are the requirements: Nominees must be 18 or younger and be enrolled at a public, private or charter school, or be home-schooled. Students should live in western Washington County — be it Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Cornelius, Banks, North Plains, Gaston, Gales Creek, Manning, Midway, Mountaindale or any place in between.

Visit our website to nominate the special young person in your life. All we need is their name and a short note about what makes them so spectacular. Shoot for 150 words or less. We'll need their contact information, and yours as well.

Prefer old-fashioned mail? You can send your nominees to our office, 2038 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, OR 97116.

If you know a young person who deserves some recognition, nominate them. We'd love to tell their story to the community.


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