Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Harrold Youth Center staff has named 16-yearold Garett Dall as Fort Leavenworth’s Youth of the Year, and he will go on to compete in the state competition later this spring through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Organization.
“It felt really good being picked as Youth of the Year,” Dall said. “That’s a very big accomplishment.”
Dall, who is a sophomore at Leavenworth High School, is involved in several activities including Junior ROTC as a cadet staff sergeant, Boy Scouts of America Troop 165 in Lansing as a Life Scout, and the Wyandotte County 4-H Club; he also participates in volunteer work with each organization.
“One of the big reasons why I like volunteering is as I’ve grown up, the community has helped me out so much, so having the ability to give back to the community, I really enjoy that,” Dall said. “What they’ve given me has…helped me become the person I am right now.”
Though he enjoys all of his activities, Dall said his favorite is JROTC.
“The staff and the people there have really had a big influence on my life and have really helped motivate me to want to be a better person and help me want to do better and grow up to be a good person,” he said.
He said he hopes to pass that motivation on to his fellow youth.
“There are so many different things pressuring them and a lot of things that can lead them in a bad direction, so having a good role model to show what it looks like to be good and what it looks like to be right, that’s a good example to put on kids and can help lead them in a good direction for later on in their life,” Dall said. “I’m good at leading people in the right way. For example, if there is a group of people, and we’re all kind of confused, I’m good at assigning certain tasks to people, and I’m able to keep people focused on those tasks, so we can get it done as soon as possible and with good results.”
For the state competition, Dall will be required to write four different essays that discuss his experience at HYC, what matters most to him, how he overcomes obstacles and his experience as a military youth. He also has to outline three leadership characteristics he feels he possesses.
If Dall wins state, he will go on to compete at the regional and national levels.
Although the way the state competition will be conducted is uncertain due to coronavirus 2019 concerns, Dall said he is still looking forward to it.
“I’m hoping to meet people from around the area and have a chance to open myself to the community and see what other people are like,” he said.
Dall is hopeful for his future, too.
“My future goals are to attend college, hopefully on a scholarship for ROTC,” Dall said. “As col-
lege goes on, hopefully I’ll get accepted into the Army as a doctor, and once I get out of the Army, hopefully I’ll apply as a doctor at a hospital.”
Lt. Col. Nicholas Dall, an instructor in the Command and General Staff College’s Department of Tactics, said he’s proud of his son no matter what he does.
“Anything that he wants to do that makes him happy, I’ll be happy for him,” Lt. Col. Dall said. “Everything he does is pretty awesome.”
For more information about the Youth of the Year state competition, visit bgctopeka.org/specialevent-youth-year.
Update (April 9, 2020): Dall was named the state BGCA Youth of the Year April 1. He will go on to compete at regionals in Texas this summer.