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Rio Mesa senior Youth of the Year

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Chloe Parker has found a way to make volunteering fun. For her, helping the community means dancing, singing and staging a musical production.

The 17-year-old Camarillo resident was named Youth of the Year by the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce for her involvement with Pleasant Valley Education Foundation’s performing arts program CineMagic and for her active role in several clubs at Rio Mesa High School.

CineMagic is a two-hour original musical put on annually by the foundation. The show gives more than 200 Camarillo students a chance to sing and dance in the production.

Chloe, a high school senior, and nine other Camarillo residents and businesses will be recognized in March at a formal dinner hosted by the Chamber as part of its annual Top Ten award ceremony.

The daughter of Chris and Jennifer Parker, Chloe has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and is a summer camp volunteer for her congregation at Camarillo United Methodist Church.

“I had no idea I was even nominated, and it was flattering,” she said. “(Winning the award) means a lot because I volunteer a lot, and while I love volunteering, it’s nice to get recognition.”

The Chamber solicits nominations every year from the public for awards in 10 categories. The winners, chosen by a 16-person committee, are not told who nominated them.

Longtime CineMagic director Lindann Cheney said Chloe deserves the award.

“(Chloe is) an excellent role model and an example to those younger than her and to her peers,” Cheney said.

Chloe joined CineMagic as a performer when she was in sixth grade. She aged out of the program when she left middle school, but continued to volunteer for the production in high school.

“I always loved being onstage as a little kid, but once I couldn’t do (CineMagic) anymore, I still wanted to participate and joined the mike room,” Chloe said.

She handles most backstage aspects of the annual performance, including lighting, sound and makeup. She choreographs dance numbers for some of the performances.

“She’s very passionate about what she does because when we have theater week, (she) might put in up to six hours a day,” Cheney said. “She’s also easygoing and keeps everyone’s stress level down.”

Chloe is active at Rio Mesa High. She is part of the school’s Link Crew, a group of upperclassmen who lead freshman orientations.

“We play bonding games and tell them about the different classes and teachers,” she said. “We also try to break the stereotype of freshmen getting bullied when they come to high school.”

The teen started the school’s environmental club and participates on the dance team, and in the Harry Potter Club and the California Scholarship Federation— all while maintaining a 4.4 grade-point average.

Chloe wants to stay in California for college. She’s applied to many schools in the state and is awaiting responses, due mid- March.

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