Natalie Yadon

Natalie Yadon, a 17 year old junior at Woodward High School, has started an incredible philanthropic endeavor called "Be a Lifesaver!"

Natalie had an opportunity to tour our local fire station. On the tour she saw an empty space that was designed to hold an extractor. She learned that an extractor was a piece of equipment that is specifically designed to remove cancer causing toxins from a firefighter's protective gear.

The extractor had been in the city budget for 4 years, yet in these difficult economic times, this piece of equipment is still in desperate need. The cost of the extractor is $15,000. Natalie always thinks and reacts in a big way and knew that raising that sort of money was possible because her dance team had just raised that amount for costumes and travel expenses. She thought if the dance team could do that, surely she could raise that amount to save the lives of our local firefighters.

Her motivation is knowing that according to the International Association of Firefighters, 60% of career firefighters will die of cancer, compared to only 20% for the rest of the population, and that the extractor is their best line of defense.

Natalie has held several dance attire resale events at her dance studio and has hosted several fund-raising dinners for this cause. Moreover, you can easily find Natalie at chamber of commerce luncheons networking with civic leaders ( as a high school student) to educate them regarding our local hero's need for this life saving and vital piece of equipment. In addition, she created a fund-raising campaign aimed at businesses seeking year end donation opportunities. Natalie has raised $7,000.00 to date through the Woodward Community Foundation, and it is her goal to have the extractor in place in 2018. Knowing her, there is simply no doubt what so ever she will see this become a reality.

It's extremely clear to see why Natalie was selected as Woodward's student citizen of the year for 2018. Natalie has been raised in a service oriented family with strong Leadership Oklahoma ties, which makes it no surprise that she is a 2018 applicant for YLOK. She truly has a servant leader's heart and seeks out ways to be of benefit to others. What a joy it will be to watch Natalie's journey through her college years, no doubt service to others will continue in her life.

In these uncertain days, it's truly refreshing to see this sort of commitment of service from a young person, and gives hope to all Oklahomans that perhaps many of our youth are on the way to be being progressive, life long learners and givers.

This Year's Nominees

Click on nominees to read more about them.

Nominated by Shannon Rich
Nominated by Sharon Mocabee-Sisco
Nominated by Casey Shupe
Nominated by Kay Harsha
Nominated by Philip Wong
Nominated by Shane Fernandez
Nominated by Stephanie Giacomo
Nominated by Melissa Baldwin
Nominated by Caryl Parsons
Nominated by Tori Garrett
Nominated by Taprina Milburn
Nominated by Barbara Butner
Nominated by Dawn Byram
Nominated by Marcus McEntire
Nominated by Debby Hampton
Nominated by Ruben Reyes
Nominated by Pamela Ballard
Nominated by Cristi Twenter
Nominated by Mandi Mays
Nominated by Melissa York
Nominated by Laurie Tilley
Nominated by David Rackley