Alaska’s Spirit of Youth Award Winner – Chance Haller

| May 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus, photos by Tiffany Haller

ChancePortraitIt was a pleasure to sit down with Chance Haller the other day to discuss his recent recognition up in Anchorage as a Spirit of Youth Award recipient in the Lifesaver and Prevention category.   Out of 400 individuals nominated for the award, only 20 were selected for the 10 categories this year.

Chance has lived in Seldovia for three years now, and is a Sophomore at Susan B. English school.  Even at his young age, he has been working as a Junior Fire Fighter for the Seldovia Volunteer Fire Department for over two years, and has also received his certification as an ETT (Emergency Trauma Technician) with the EMS Department in Seldovia.

ChanceFirefighterWhen I asked how he got into it – he said that his dad (the Fire chief) originally talked him and his friend Levi Blodgett into joining (Levi’s dad was also on the Fire department) and he’s been involved ever since.   Chance’s entire family, including his mother Tiffany, both sisters Taylor and Ashley – as well as his brother-in-law Cody, all have served in the Fire and EMS departments.  So, you could say it is “in his blood”!

ChanceFirefighter2Chance enjoys the act of helping people and making a difference, and he truly likes the people in the departments. (In addition to all the family members!)   This year they had to fight a fire in Seldovia, thankfully it doesn’t happen too often, but it is essential that we have our volunteer department trained and ready to serve!  I asked him if because of his age, he has any limitations on what he can do, and he said that it is unregulated for minors, but in regards to firefighting, he can never enter a burning building – but neither can anyone else in a volunteer fire department!  In regards to his serving on the EMS team, he takes vitals, bandages wounds and spends a lot of time carrying things!  He plans to continue his training in EMS – who knows where it will take him some day!

ChanceAwardChance doesn’t know who nominated him, though he’d like to – as he appreciates the recognition, it was a huge compliment and he sends out his thanks!   He truly enjoyed the experience of the award ceremony that was held earlier this month in Anchorage.  One of the main highlights of that event was meeting all the other award winners.  Lisa Murkowski taped a video message that was shown at the ceremony, and Chance was also able to meet the United States Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin.

This is the second year a young man from Seldovia has earned the recognition as a Spirit of Youth Award winner in the state of Alaska!   In 2011, a summer resident, Keefer Brown won the Spirit of Youth award in the Science and Environment category for his donation of money earned from selling his seashell candles in Seldovia. Keefer raised $1,300 to promote harbor seal research and rehabilitation at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.  We are so proud of our Seldovian youth!

There are 10 different categories that will each award two young, hard-working Alaskan teens.  The categories that you can nominate a teen for are:  Service to Community, Service to Peers, Service to Young Children , Faith-based Service, Lifesaver and Prevention, Business and Government, Technology and Media, Fine Arts, Cultural Pursuits, Science and the Environment and Overcoming Challenges.  If you know of a local teen who has stood out in any of these areas, and you would like to nominate them for the Spirit of Youth Award – click here!

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