ARLINGTON, Texas – Sara Howell of Slidell, Louisiana, and Ian Ridgway of Naperville, Illinois, have been selected as Youth Ambassadors of the Year by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee.
The Youth Ambassador of the Year is annually awarded to recognize one male and one female United States Bowling Congress Youth bowler for exemplary contributions in the sport of bowling outside of league or tournament play, academic accomplishments and community involvement. One of the winners could be selected to serve on the IBC Youth Committee.
Howell is a senior at Salmen High School where she is president of the National Honor Society, editor of the yearbook and a freshmen mentor. She has maintained a 4.5 grade-point average while taking five Advanced Placement courses and several honors classes.
She has volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association and was named a Junior Ambassador for the Arthritis, participating in the national campaign to provide additional healthcare options to children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
A member of the Girl Scouts since age 5, she has completed her Bronze and Silver Service Awards and recently completed her Gold Award project. The Slidell Rotary Club selected her for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award for her community service.
On the lanes, Howell has been named the New Orleans district Most Valuable Player and is a two-time all-district selection. She will continue her bowling career in the fall at Louisiana Tech, where she plans to major in political science with a concentration in pre-law.
“I am truly honored to be selected for this award,” Howell said. “I love being a role model to younger kids and by having this honor, I will be able to help grow the sport and empower others to go out and achieve their dreams.”
Ridgway is a senior at Matea Valley High School, has taken seven AP and honors classes, and has earned an academic letter every semester of his high school career. He has worked on community projects as a member of the Key Club and Student Athlete Leadership Team, in addition to working with Special Olympic bowlers, the American Red Cross, Feed My Starving Children and worked on a fundraiser for military veterans, Strikes for Veterans, that raised more than $12,000.
Matea Valley High School does not have a boys’ bowling team, so Ridgway served as manager of the girls’ team and competed as an individual to promote the sport at his school, and it led to him earning Student Athlete of the Month honors. This past season, he advanced to the state tournament, finishing sixth.
Ridgway will attend Mount Mercy University in the fall, where he plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy, and he will compete for the Mustangs bowling team.
“It feels great to be recognized for all the hard work that I’ve put into trying to grow the sport within my high school and the community,” Ridgway said. “I hope the work that I have done so far is just a beginning, and that I continue to inspire others as I progress through my bowling career.”
As Youth Ambassador of the Year Award winners, Howell and Ridgway each will receive a $1,500 scholarship and an expenses-paid trip to the 2018 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting, April 23-26 in Reno, Nevada, where they will receive their awards.
Visit BOWL.com/Scholarships to learn more about scholarship opportunities for USBC Youth bowlers.