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Altus AFB youth receives regional level photography award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs Office

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Molly Montier, a military child who attends the 97th Air Mobility Wing Youth Center, received first place at the southwest regional level for her photo submitted through the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) 2020 Fine Art and Photography Show at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. 

Every year, the base Youth Center participates in the BGCA Fine Art and Photography Show. Competing within four age groups and 18 different categories, participants in this art show compete with original works of art that are exhibited and judged at the local, regional and national level. Molly was named the first southwest regional photography winner at Altus AFB since the Youth Center became involved in the fine art program in 2010.

“This program is all about letting children showcase their creativity at a young age,” said Michel Miklja, the 97th AMW Youth Center school age coordinator. “Photography, along with the other fine art classes and clubs we have here, lets children explore new ideas and express their creativity in different ways.”

Molly explained that she enjoys holding the camera and taking photos of her classmates and different objects around the Youth Center.

Molly’s photo titled “Cold Hands Warm Heart,” which she edited through the base Youth Center photography club, took first place at the local and regional level. Additionally, her photo was submitted to the national level to compete among the 49 other states.

Molly explained that she took the photo of her classmates during a snow day. While playing in the snow her classmate held the snow in her hands in the shape of a heart, and Molly decided to capture the moment on camera. After seeing how the photo turned out later that day, Molly and her teacher, Michel, decided to officially name the photo “Cold Hands Warm Heart”.

After being awarded first place at the regional level, Molly received a certificate of merit for her accomplishment. Additionally, her artwork was professionally framed by the BGCA and is mounted in their headquarters located in Atlanta, Ga.

Her artwork is currently hanging on the wall at the base Youth Center where her fellow classmates and teachers are able to see her work and accomplishment. Molly explained how winning this award made her feel “super happy” and proud of the photo she took.  

“I think programs, such as this one, are important to have, especially at a smaller base like Altus, because it gets the children involved and inspired,” said Miklja. “Having different programs available gives students the opportunity to learn and grow on the things that they enjoy doing. Photography is just one example of amazing things possible at a young age.”