MacArthur student named youth of year
February 28, 2013
By Monica Wood
He put in a lot of time and effort, but to Richard Carlton Pyles, III who is in the Junior ROTC program at MacArthur High School, it was worth the effort.
Pyles was named the Boys and Girls Club of America Military Youth of the Year in a ceremony Feb. 20 at the Fort Sill Youth Center. His father, 1st Sgt. Richard Carlton Pyles, Jr., D Battery, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery, was on hand to see the award and medal his son received.
"I'm so proud of him and what he has accomplished," said his father. "I am very happy he is going in the right direction and just being nominated is a huge honor."
Pyles is now competing for the Oklahoma Youth of the Year in Oklahoma City and could possibly become the National Youth of the Year, which would get him a $50,000 scholarship and national recognition.
He attributed the win to his father's example of being a good person, a good Soldier and a man of faith.
"I hope to show other members of the Y Generation that they don't have to give in to peer pressure," he said. "They can accomplish a lot by following the rules and doing the right thing."
Pyles said he hopes to motivate other youth to see they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.
"I really want to thank my family for helping me with all the work necessary to get to this point. I also want to thank Henry Walton who was the runner-up for Youth of the Year and a good friend of mine," he said.
Some of the things Pyles did to receive the honor included getting 18 letters of recommendation from community leaders, church members, from members of his father's unit where he volunteered and from his commander in the Junior ROTC.
"We had to get two handwritten letters and 16 from members of my dad's unit, from my school like teachers and the colonel from ROTC. It was a lot of work but it was worth it," he said.
Pyles has already received several medals through ROTC including Cadet of the Quarter, marching, good conduct and outstanding cadet of the quarter.
Brooke Wilson, Youth Center director, presented the certificate and medal to Pyles in front of many of his peers at the youth center.