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Special section next week to highlight extraordinary service to our community

The Outlook news staff is pleased to announce the four extraordinary young citizens selected as the 2019 Amazing Kids.

Four local students will be among 27 youths honored in a special publication in all Pamplin Media Group newspapers next week.

A gala event on Monday, April 29, at OMSI in Portland, will recognize these youths for their accomplishments and highlight why they are, indeed, Amazing Kids.

Pamplin Media Group owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin will be the keynote speaker.

Here's a preview of the Amazing Kids representing East Multnomah County.

Sarah Ali

Sara Ali's passion for volunteerism started as a freshman at Gresham's Centennial High School when she helped raise 10,000 pounds of clothing for Syrian refugees entering Turkey. Her campaign sparked an interest in public service.

The 18-year-old senior now leads Gresham's Youth Advisory Council (YAC) as its president. YAC members attend key community events, work on service projects, and serve as youth liaisons to the Gresham City Council.PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Sarah Ali, Gresham Outlook - News Gresham Great Young Citizen earns prestigious Coca-Cola grant for her accomplishments Centennial High School's Sarah Ali wins big scholarship

Sarah plans to further her passion for service by pursuing a law degree, and running for office after graduating from law school.

Maria Santos

Maria Santos volunteers across the metro area with a focus on making children safer and healthier. She plans to continue that passion by pursuing a career in medicine.PMG FILE PHOTO - Maria Santos

Maria is an 18-year-old senior at Springwater Trail High School in Gresham. She spends half her time at Springwater Trail, and the other half studying health sciences at the Center for Advanced Learning, Gresham's career and technical eduction public charter school.

Maria plans to continue her education at Mt. Hood Community College in the fall, and then attend Portland State University to major in biology.

Hikmat Bittar

Hikmat moved to Gresham after fleeing the Syrian civil war.

When he arrived in the United States, he spoke no English. Six years later, he has managed to take rigorous honors and AP courses while maintaining a stellar 3.91 GPA. OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - From left, Hikmat Bittar, Jacob Nanamaker, Gabriela Medina, Lauren Bier received VFW awards at a ceremony on Tuesday night. , Gresham Outlook - News  VFW honors youths’ essays, speeches

Hikmat plans to attend Oregon State University to study chemical engineering, and then pursue a career in water treatment.

Ja'Neciya Ross

Ja'Neciya participated in the Debate for Oregon's Future last October during the 2018 gubernatorial race. PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Ja'Neciya Ross

The debate, hosted by KOIN 6 News and the Pamplin Media Group, featured questions between Gov. Kate Brown and her opponent Oregon Rep. Knute Buehler. The event was the first state debate to feature questions asked exclusively by kids.

The experience inspired the 16-year-old to form a school-based Black Student Union at Reynolds Learning Academy in Fairview.


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