Applause - September 5, 2011

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Nikol Wells
Paige Adkinson
Nikol Wells and Paige Adkinson of the 2011/2012 Woodinville High School cheer squad have been selected for the National Cheer Associations All-American Team.

Paul Christensen of Woodinville has received an opportunity that very few soccer players have received. Christensen is a goal keeper in the Sounders FC Academy and has been asked to attend the U.S. Soccer National Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., This means he is moving to Florida effective immediately to live and train with the very best identified players at the age of 15 and 16. This group will represent the U.S. National U17 team in the next World Cup if they make the final roster.

Oldfin, Bates and Leonard
Left to right: Marina Oldfin, NYSA President Jim Bates and Alison Leonard
University of San Diego student Katharine Olsen of Bothell studied abroad in France this summer. Olsen took part in USD’s four-week faculty-led Paris program to the "City of Light" that immerses students in French history, tradition and culture including visits to museums, theatres and other landmarks. Olsen is majoring in communication studies.

With an inspiring speech that portrayed insights on how small moments we share with our loved ones can impact an entire life, Omar Rivas, a Toastmaster from Woodinville, competed in the final round of the Toastmasters 2011 World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 20, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Rivas’ speech described the actions his mother took of preserving the most precious thoughts and moments of her life in an old brown hatbox, while losing a battle with Alzheimer’s. "This speech is my homage to my wonderful mother, which is why I delivered it over 50 times to perfect her message." He evolved through a six-month process of elimination in the world’s largest speech contest, reaching the top nine out of a pool of 30,000 competitors from 116 countries.

Rivas, who is a member of Toastmasters District 2 and an Executive Presentation Coach at a Redmond-based business communications company AMAXRA, entertained the crowd at the Toastmasters International Speech Contest Semifinals two days earlier with a different speech, titled "Why You Are."

A panel of 14 Toastmasters judges evaluated the finalists on a range of criteria, including speech content, organization, voice quality and gestures. The speeches could cover any topic and had to last between five and seven minutes.

Connor Cox
The Northshore Youth Soccer Association (NYSA) announced their 2011 College Scholarship recipients. Recent Northshore School District Class of 2011 graduates Marina Oldfin of Bothell High School, and Alison Leonard and Connor Cox of Inglemoor High School received one thousand dollar scholarships.

Applications were accepted from Northshore School District graduating seniors that planned to enter an accredited institution of higher learning during the 2011/2012 academic year. Individuals were reviewed and selected based on their positive involvement and commitment to the NYSA program and the community, but also in their participation in the NYSA referee program.

Having all started playing soccer at a very young age, Oldfin, Leonard and Cox were honored for their outstanding contributions and success on the soccer field and in their academic achievements. Oldfin will be attending the University of Washington in the fall studying business and finance. She plans to continue playing soccer, refereeing and wants to explore coaching. "NYSA introduced me to a sport that I can take with me, and be a part of, throughout my life," she said.

Leonard will be studying biology as a freshman at the University of Washington. "Being a part of the Northshore Youth Soccer Association, both as a player and as a referee, has been a transformative experience for me as a person," Leonard said. "It made me realize not just how important soccer has been in my own life but how much I want others to be able to enjoy and learn from it," she added. "I’ve learned not to be afraid to stick to my decisions in the face of opposition, and to have the confidence to walk into uncomfortable situations with my head held high."

Cox will be attending Boise State University. Along with his team duties and assistant coaching, Cox was nominated as Washington State Youth Referee of the Year. "I’ve put in countless hours supporting the program," Cox said, "through playing, refereeing, volunteering and coaching. I’ve had a great run with NYSA, with an almost storybook ending and have truly enjoyed every minute of it."

The Northshore Youth Soccer Association awards scholarships annually and supports teams in Bothell, Woodinville and Kenmore. Since it’s founding, the NYSA has grown to include several programs at different skill levels, representing thousands of athletes ages six to nineteen. Visit for more information.

Maryam Abdi of Kenmore has enrolled at the University of Evansville. Abdi, majoring in Theatre, joins an entering class defined by its strong academic ability and diversity.

App Sarah Luhn
Sarah Hallman-Luhn
Sarah Hallman-Luhn, a third grader at Evergreen Academy, is proud of her 4H achievements at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe with the Paws N Claws Too 4H club cat division. Hallman-Luhn was awarded junior champion overall and junior champion in judging overall with her 4H Cat Project.The judging award was for points received on a collection of her projects.

Paws N Claws Too members were judged on their creativity for cat cage designs, how well they knew basic information about caring for their cats and for points received from the club throughout the year. Sarah now qualifies to show her cat in the Puyallup Fair.

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