Youth of the Year Award


The Youth of the Year Award recognizes youth who demonstrate dedication through volunteer work for a worthy cause. This award is presented annually by the NSBA Foundation to a deserving youth who has gone above and beyond to exhibit exemplary character in helping others through community service. The purpose is to promote and celebrate service work in our youth. The recipient will receive a $4,000 scholarship from the Susan Scott Memorial Fund. In addition to the scholarship, a $500 donation is made to a charity of choice in the winner’s name. Recipients will be featured in a spotlight in The Way To Go magazine and recognized at the annual NSBA Honors Banquet in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Do you know an extraordinary youth who has gone above and beyond for a cause they are passionate about? Applications will become available each spring and are due June 1, 2023.

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Susan Scott Memorial Fund

The Susan Scott Memorial Fund was established to honor Susan’s memory and foster the lifelong skills learned as a youth involved with horses and horse showing. Rewarding young horsemen who give selflessly perpetuates the characteristics most often found in successful individuals, regardless of their career paths. The fund was made possible through the generous contributions garnered from the auction of Susan’s custom-made Harris saddle and memorial contributions made to the NSBA Foundation in Susan’s name. The saddle was donated by Susan’s daughter, Nancy Ditty, along with her husband Seth and son Luke.

Ian McFarlin

Ian McFarlin, of Tallahassee, Florida, was named the 2022 Youth of the Year Award recipient and second annual recipient of the $4,000 Susan Scott Memorial Scholarship out of six outstanding finalists.

Ian has served more than 550 hours volunteering for various service organizations throughout his community, but he spends the majority of his volunteer time with Hand and Hearts For Horses, an equine-assisted therapy program in rural Georgia.

“It didn’t take much to convince me to get involved with equine-related charity, but I immediate felt a special connection to Hands And Hearts For Horses,” Ian said.

“I have an amazing sibling who is on the autism spectrum and who also has a mild form of cerebral palsy. He is probably the smartest person I have ever met and he is an incredible example of how ‘differently-abled’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘less-abled.’ I am passionate about recognizing and encouraging all that our differently- abled peers can do and I believe that involvement with horses is one of the most valuable tools available to all humans to help us learn, grow and heal.”

Ian has a range of interests including becoming an equine veterinarian, participating in the state or national political process or involvement in one of the equine industry’s governing bodies. He is an incoming freshman at the University of Florida majoring in engineering, with a long-term goal to attend veterinary school. Congratulations, and good luck, Ian!

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