by Lisa Tome
Aleksandra "Allie" Morris has been adopted twice.
First by her parents, Ken and Kristine Morris of Rising Sun, who adopted Allie from Russia when she was an infant.
Later in life, Morris found another new home at the Rising Sun Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cecil County.
The Boys and Girls Club has given me support and another family. All the members, I treat them like brothers and sisters. They mean a lot to me," said Morris. "The Boys and Girls Club members have an inner connection. When Kami (Ring - a BGC member was murdered last year), I cried. And I didn't even know her."
Morris explained that she initially joined the BGC because it was convenient. Her mother worked close to the club and it was easy for her to be picked up at the end of the day.
"The staff here is amazing. And when we get a new member, I'm like great, I have a new friend," she said. "No one has treated me different here because I'm adopted. I didn't even know it until I was seven. I love the club."
Last summer, Morris graduated to being club leadership. She served as an LIT (Leader in Training) during the club summer program. "I want to do it again but I am trying to find a job so I can buy a car," said Morris.
Morris is also active outside the club. The Rising Sun High School freshman is an honor student. She is member of the school color guard. She has also been a Girl Scout for nine years and is active with Mt. Pleasant Troop 512. She has also played youth soccer and plays violin in the school orchestra.
To earn Youth of the Year honors, Morris underwent a local interview and speaking panel. She then went to Annapolis for the State Youth of the Year contest. She again endured a judging panel, public speaking, and speech writing. "Everyone there was so great. I met someone there who is exactly like me," she said. "That was really fun. I met a lot of fun people."
She will be honored locally at the May 7 Youth Celebration Dinner which will be held at Rising Sun Banquet Hall at 5:30 p.m. For more information or tickets to this event call 410-398-5076.
Denise Thomas, who directs the Rising Sun unit, said she is proud of Morris and her accomplishments - both in the club and in her other activities. "I love it. You're always so proud when you see them come up through (the club)," said Thomas.