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Editorial: Thumbs up to young people excelling in science, service and sports

Carroll County Career and Technology Center students made top marks in this year's SkillsUSA Championship, National Leadership and Skills Conference, Carroll County

Thumbs up: Brittany Whitestone was one of the 15 students from the Carroll County Career and Technology Center who traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for the SkillsUSA Championship, came home with a national title. Whitestone took first in the WMH Graphics Communications portion of the competition. It's rare for a local student to win the prestigious honor. Whitestone, a Winters Mill High School graduate, said the event was a life-changing experience that will help as she continues her education at the Art Institute of Tampa. Other Tech Center students who earned top-10 honors were Amanda Koogle, of Manchester Valley High School, Dan Oehlsen, of North Carroll High School, and Madison Pool, of Westminster High School, Rachel Engle, of Winters Mill, Madison Hudgins, of Manchester Valley and Josh Miller, of Francis Scott Key.

Westminster High School graduate Stephanie Raley was named in May as the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster's 2016 Youth of the Year, the program's premier award.

Thumbs up: Westminster High School graduate Stephanie Raley was named the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster's 2016 Youth of the Year, recognizing her leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyle and is sponsored by Disney, Toyota, University of Phoenix and Taco Bell. Raley, 17, is a Westminster resident who'll be heading to Robert Morris University in the fall to study criminal justice. While in high school, she interned with the Maryland State Police and participated in numerous leadership activities offered by the BGC of Westminster, including working as a mentor to elementary school-aged girls. She also received the 2016 Toyota Making Life Easier Scholarship.

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The Carroll County Invitational celebrated its 30th year Wednesday with the annual county meet, a summertime staple for area swimmers.

Thumbs up: More than 350 youths swam in the Carroll County Invitational, which was celebrating its 30th competition, Wednesday at South Carroll Swim Club. It was a healthy and competitive evening for all involved and more than a few had impressive outings. Mia Mesceda, a 13-year-old show swims for South Carroll, won two races and set county meet records in the 100-meter individual medley (1 minute, 09.41 seconds) and the 50 breaststroke (35.09). South Carroll's Matthew McGoey, 18, entered five events and won them all, setting three meet records in the process. McGoey's 100 IM time of 58.92 set a county meet and pool record, and he added new marks in the freestyle (53.53) and backstroke (28.5). Many of the swimmers qualified for the prestigious Straehle Invitational, set for Wednesday, July 27 at Four Seasons Sports Complex in Hampstead.

A local robotics team that made it to the top this year is helping to spread the love of technology and engineering throughout Carroll County.

Thumbs up: A robotics team with a distinct Hampstead flavor not only won a world championship but has tried to showcase skills and teach others in the community. Hampstead's own 8221 CUBIX3 snagged the title of world champions at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis. Kaitlyn Davey, who's home-schooled in Hampstead, is a member of the team, along with Howard countians James Parry and Reagan Roberts. Jocelyn and George Davey oversee the program and two of their other children are mentors. Cubix gives demonstrations and goes out into community libraries to teach others about engineering and robotics.

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