Tinker teen named state military youth of the year

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

A 15-year-old student who has been a member of the Tinker Youth Center for more than a decade was recently named the Oklahoma military youth of the year.

Lindsey Sciberras, the daughter of Jo Ann Sciberras and Master Sgt. Kenneth Sciberras, who serves as an aircraft mechanic and member of the 552nd Maintenance Group, will move on to the Southwest regional level in San Antonio early next month in the Boys & Girls Club competition. The national contest takes place later this year.

The Midwest City High School sophomore was chosen for the state honor and a $5,000 scholarship in late April. The winner of the regional competition is awarded an annual $10,000 scholarship for four years.

The military youth of the year competition is based on several essays on topics such as life as a military child, information about the student’s extracurricular and scholarly achievements, and letters of recommendation. Sciberras also will be interviewed by judges and present a three-minute speech.

Sciberras said she was inspired by watching other Tinker Youth Center teens enter the competition over the years. She’s been going there since she was 5. Four other Youth Center members previously have won the state honor.

“In one of my essays, I talked about having a place to go and always having something to do,” she said. “It really helps because home isn’t always home in the sense whenever there’s not a family member there. That’s how I’d say the Youth Center has impacted my life the most.”

Her vision to help America’s youth is to develop an app that will prevent young drivers from using their phones while driving over 10 mph.

“My dad’s a police officer and he’s always manning accidents,” she said. “With an outcome like the loss of a family member, it takes a toll on families. In driver’s education, they showed us video of these terrible accidents where you look down at your phone for one second and in the blink of an eye you’re into a tree. That is really what inspired me.”

Sciberras has plans to take another cue from her law enforcement parents; her mother is a paralegal. She hopes to pursue a criminal law degree at the University of Florida. Her sense of justice was strongly inspired by the ABC show “How to Get Away with Murder” and its portrayals of convictions of the falsely accused and the lifelong damage it does to their lives and their families.