U.S. ARMY GARRISON RHEINLAND-PFALZ -- Most youth organizations claim they have the best young adults in the world. But, the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Child and Youth Services programs can prove they actually do have the best youths, in Europe at least.Marianna Sanchez, a member of the Landstuhl Youth Center, and Seth Kindberg, from Wetzel Teen Center in Baumholder, were named winner and runner-up respectively in the 2020 Boys and Girls Clubs of America Europe Military Youth of the Year competition.“It was truly an unprecedented moment in USAG RP history and a testament to the genuine commitment to excellence our Youth Programs staff have in caring for the youth in the programs,” said Ingrid Osewalt, USAG RP Directorate of Family and Morale, Recreation and Welfare deputy director. "Marianna and Seth represented our garrison with pride. We really wish it could’ve ended in a tie.”The competition category celebrates young people of military installations around the world, ages 14 to 18, for their commitment to community service, academic success, good character and citizenship, and for establishing long-term goals. All competitors had to write four essays, a cover letter and a resume. They also had to prepare and present a speech.“The first thing I thought was, ‘Well, this will be interesting,’” said 16-year-old Sanchez, who has previously lived in New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, and Japan. “I remember saying I would rather have a nominee who has made mistakes and is willing to talk about them and how they continue to try to succeed, rather than a perfect person with a perfect record. I thought I was a good nominee for that reason.”Sanchez shared moments of uncertainty and doubt in her speech and essay, according to Clorissa Rickman, Youth Programs director for Landstuhl and Sembach.“But what those life experiences taught her,”said Rickman, “Is there will be times when you face insurmountable difficulties, but that's when you dig deep for the courage and the strength to keep going and to never forget that despite life's detours, you are destined for greatness. She is a great example of the resilient youth CYS has helped to develop. And, that's what makes her special.”Seventeen year-old Kindberg was born in Wurzburg, Germany, and has lived in Virginia, Japan, Rhode Island and Wisconsin before moving to Baumholder.“I am an active member of my teen center’s Keystone Club and I try my best to participate in as many events for that as possible,” he said. “When I was told I was through the first round, I was a little nervous, but ultimately really excited and honored at the opportunity to continue.”According to Ryan Flynn, Wetzel Teen Center director, Kindberg is one of the most responsible and dependable people in the program, and doesn’t let things go to his head.“Being named a finalist in this competition speaks volumes of Seth and what a fine individual he is,” Flynn said. “After the ceremony was over, he logged on and took an Advanced Placement level exam. He is a youth with goals and aspirations and is putting in the work to achieve them.”There are 540 families enrolled in the Kaiserslautern Child and Youth Services at Landstuhl and Sembach and 251 families enrolled in the Baumholder program.Sanchez came into the competition later in the game but her tenacity helped her catch up quickly.“Two weeks before the regional competition, we were working with Marianna several times a week to help prep her for her speech,” said Janice Broccoli, Landstuhl CYS training specialist. “The first few nights she was reading straight from the paper. We gave her a few tips and by the following week she had it memorized. It was beyond amazing.”After being selected, Sanchez and Kindberg competed against 18 other teenagers representing their respective European installations, including from USAGs Stuttgart, Bavaria, Benelux, and Ansbach; Air Force installations at Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Ramstein, Aviano, Vogelweh and Spangdahlem; and Naval sites at Rota, Naples, Bahrain and Sigonella.“I’m so proud of Marianna and Seth,” said Col. Jason Edwards, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz garrison commander. “They exemplify the quality of military children we have in the garrison. Being an Army Brat is not an easy job but they are leading by example.”Sanchez’s win includes a $5,000 scholarship toward post-secondary education. She will compete next in the Overseas Region Military Youth of the Year later this summer.