Overcoming adversity is not just a grown-up trait. It is also something that helped a teenager at Brussels American School become the United States Army Europe Outstanding Youth of the Year for 2003.

“It’s a great honor to receive these awards, because there are so many remarkable teens out there,” said Morgan Duke, 17, a member of the NATO Support Activity Child & Youth Services.

“For me to be recognized is an honor because I represent many other outstanding teens. I could not have done this without the help of my peers and family.”

Those at USAREUR who selected Duke said her family played a direct role in her winning the award.

Duke shined not only with her academic and athletic skills but also by demonstrating how she overcame personal problems, including illnesses in the family, said Jill Woodworth-Collier, the NSA Teen Center director.

Duke, a straight-A student, helped care for her sick brother between playing on the school’s soccer team and volunteering in the community, said Woodworth-Collier.

“Morgan has extreme coach-ability,” she said. “Sometimes when people identify weakness in another person it is taken as a personal criticism, but Morgan is different. She takes it as challenge.”

Duke will represent USAREUR in competition against the Air Force Youth of the Year candidate in May, according to Woodworth-Collier.

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