Just as bridesmaids become brides, Sarah Mobley went from 2015 and 2016 runner-up to 2017 Military Youth of the Year for the Presidio of Monterey.
Mobley and runner-up Alonis Ingram are both seniors at Seaside High School and members of Porter Youth Center at Ord Military Community, the sponsor of Youth of the Year for PoM.
"I entered this contest originally in my freshman year as a really good opportunity and to see what I could do," Mobley said. "Now I want to take my ideas and knowledge and further them."
She will further them April 25-27 at the California Military Youth of the Year competition also hosted by Porter Youth Center. That winner will compete in the national contest.
"Sarah is a very self-motivated leader," said Dorrie Coman, director at Porter. "Her natural ability to lead and enthusiasm to be involved is what I believe influenced her to continue to participate in the Youth of the Year program."
First place came with $2,500 towards post-high school education for Mobley while Ingram collected $1,000. Their fathers are assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School.
The teens faced three judges who reviewed their applications, interviewed them, then listened as Mobley and Ingram addressed an audience of Porter Youth Center teenagers. The panel was Lt. Col. Toni Sabo, commander of the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion; Presidio Fire Department Battalion Chief Ramon Rivera, and Sgt. Joey Quilenderino, PoM Police Department.
"Both young women interviewed very well and both clearly demonstrated passion for their platforms. It came down to Sarah's charismatic delivery and talent at connecting with others," Sabo said. " When she took the stage to give her speech, without notes, she confidently delivered her message in a personal way, speaking directly to the audience of her peers."
The stage gets bigger for Mobley in April with the California contest but she'll rely on years of experience in competing among peers.
Coman has faith in Mobley, saying, "Her strengths at the next level will be her confidence and ability to act under pressure."