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Pamplin Media Group honors Amazing Kids from throughout region in next week's paper

Caden Willaby (left), D.J. BackusThe Class of 2020 will forever be associated with a global pandemic and its disruptive impact on students, particularly high school and college seniors.

So, too, will our 2020 class of Amazing Kids.

The annual project of our parent company, Pamplin Media Group, usually culminates with a celebration at OMSI in May. But that wasn't possible this year with the virus and social distancing. We briefly considered skipping a year, but our employees — from sales representatives to beat reporters —urged us to go forward. And it's a good thing we did.

For in these days where hope and inspiration seem to be in short supply, we have plenty to share. For instance, the leadership seen in D.J. Backus of Scappoose. Backus, 18, is on the verge of a college career in engineering with a minor in either computer engineering or neuroscience. Beyond that, his work on a Safe Routes to School project that will benefit Scappoose High School Students will continue next year.

Or how about the growth and inspiration provided by St. Helens' Caden Willaby? Willaby, 18, grew through AVID, became a football team captain and graduation speaker, and helped organize the Black Lives Matter march through his hometown.

The Amazing Kids section will appear in Pamplin Media Group papers, including the Spotlight, the week of Aug. 17.


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