River City Academy junior Selena Payment (left) and Heather Marron stand with Payment’s service dog-in-training, Boots, ahead of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday in Soldotna. Payment, 16, was named a 2021 youth hero through Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes program and was honored by the board Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Selena Payment (left) and Heather Marron stand with Payment’s service dog-in-training, Boots, before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. Payment was named a 2021 youth hero through Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes program and was honored by the board Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

River City Academy junior Selena Payment (left) and Heather Marron stand with Payment’s service dog-in-training, Boots, ahead of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday in Soldotna. Payment, 16, was named a 2021 youth hero through Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes program and was honored by the board Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion) Selena Payment (left) and Heather Marron stand with Payment’s service dog-in-training, Boots, before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. Payment was named a 2021 youth hero through Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes program and was honored by the board Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

River City junior recognized for community service

The scholarship program honors “outstanding youth” in Alaska who are making a difference in their communities.

River City Academy junior Selena Payment, 16, is one of seven recipients of a $1,500 scholarship from Alaska Communications for her extensive service to the central peninsula community.

The scholarship program, offered through Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes program, honors “outstanding youth” in Alaska who are making a difference in their communities. It’s in its 11th year and is offered in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Alaska. The program honored seven young Alaskans this year, including Payment, with other scholarship recipients hailing from Anchorage, Wrangell and Sitka.

In choosing Payment as a recipient from dozens of applicants, Alaska Communications cited the multiple avenues of service work she participates in. In addition to volunteering at a local food pantry, Payment also initiated a Soldotna program that connects people in transition and homeless populations with hygiene kits. She is also raising a puppy, Boots, through a 16-month service dog training program.

Payment was honored as a recipient of the scholarship by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education during its Monday night meeting, where Alaska Communications Corporate Communications Manager Heather Marron presented her with a check.

“Selena has a unique awareness of the world around her and always thinks of ways to support others,” Marron said during Monday’s meeting.

Payment already has a year’s worth of college credits and hopes to have an associate’s degree by the time she graduates from high school. She then plans to work toward a degree in psychology with a long-term goal of reducing stigma around mental health.

Monday’s full meeting of the KPBSD Board of Education can be viewed on the district’s media page at media.kpbsd.k12.ak.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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