Cooper Brooks of Lebanon High School was named one of Linn County’s newest Junior First Citizens in a Nov. 9 ceremony at the Central Willamette Community Credit Union, 7101 Supra Drive SW.
Brooks is active in his school and community, as Rotary Club member Greg Morse noted about all 16 candidates, a boy and a girl from each of the county's eight public high schools.
Morse, who has helped judge the annual event for more than a quarter-century, said that this year’s sponsor is new — the event was organized for decades by the Insurance Associates of the Willamette Valley — and the event was held in a new location. However, he added, "It is the same honor to be around and get to know these fine students and to be reassured that our future is in good hands."
This year’s program included a video featuring information and photos about each of the students.
Morse said the cumulative grade point average for the 16 candidates is 3.92, and all have long lists of academic, athletic and community service accomplishments, many of them serving on mission trips around the world.
Emcee Tim Reid asked each student to introduce family members, friends and school officials at the dessert and talk about how they plan to continue a life of service during and after their college years.
Brooks will receive a $1,000 scholarships provided by Barker-Uerlings Insurance and a full term of tuition at Linn-Benton Community College. All candidates received a gift bag and $250 scholarships.
Brooks is the son of Nick and Koreen Brooks and has a 3.85 grade point average. He plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and then see the world as a Naval officer before entering politics.
“I want to lobby for rural America,” he said. “I want to make sure we aren’t overblown by the rest of America.”
Brooks thanked his father and his coaches for helping him to become a man, and “my mother, who has taught me what it means to serve others every single day.”
The Lebanon senior participates in football and baseball and is a National Honor Society member. He has also been involved in class leadership all four years of high school and is currently the student body president and football team captain.
He has served as a Junior Rotarian and has earned numerous scholar-athlete awards. He chaired the LHS Military Appreciation Night and coordinated the Suicide Prevention event. Brooks has also participated in Boys State, traveled to Washington, D.C. as a Consumers Power Youth Tour delegate and serves on the Youth Leadership Council.
Brooks has been a 4-H member for eight years, and was named 4-H Beef Citizen of the Year.
Also honored Tuesday were Maddie Neuschwander and Case Goracke, Central Linn; Nicole Lang and Anthony Sedano, Harrisburg; Lauren Christie, Lebanon; Michelle Briley and Josh Fawcett, Santiam; Cassandra Hyde and Connor Gardner, Scio; Susana Montes and Alexander King, South Albany; Bethany Gingerich and Jake Hindmarsh, Sweet Home; and Curtis Allen, West Albany.