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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), a not-for-profit organization, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is pleased to announce the recipients of the AKC Junior Scholarships. Scholarships totaling $23,000 were awarded to the following recipients.

“AKC encourages juniors to try different events and expand their involvement,” says Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP of Sports Services for the AKC. “The commitment and dedication these Juniors have shown to their education and participating in dog shows is impressive. We are so excited to see what the future holds for them.”

Jessica Braatz from Gainesville, FL:

Jessica competed in Juniors with English Setters and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Jessica is a Senior at the University of Florida majoring in English. Jessica has already self-published and illustrated a children’s book Norman Takes Tarrytown. Jessica also writes a Junior Column for the Canine Chronicle and is approved to judge Junior Showmanship and a member of the English Setter Junior Committee.

Grace Brown from Kensington, MD:

Grace competed in Junior Showmanship primarily with Golden Retrievers and several other breeds. Grace served as President of the 4-H Kinds N’ Dogs Club and volunteers at the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club. Grace plans to attend Montgomery Community College in the Fall.

Kathryn Markey from Berlin, CT:

Kathryn competed in Juniors with Collies, Vizsla and Dalmatians. Kathryn is a member of the Collie Club of America, Vizsla Club of America, and the Dalmatian Club of America. Kathryn also competed in Pointing Breed Hunting Tests with her Vizslas. Kathryn is pursuing a degree in Digital Media & Design at the University of Connecticut. She most recently designed the logo for the 2024 Vizsla Club of America National Specialty and continues to breed and exhibit her dogs.

Ryan Markey from Berlin, CT:

Ryan competed in Juniors with Vizslas competing in Pointing Breed Hunting Tests. Ryan is a current high school senior and plans to study Electrical Engineering.

O’Malley McGee from Simpsonville, SC:

O’Malley competed in Juniors with Pointers, Vizslas and German Shorthaired Pointers. O’Malley also competed in Pointing Breed Hunting Tests. O’Malley is a member of the American Pointer Club and the Vizsla Club of America. O’Malley is a rising Senior at Auburn University with a major in Wildlife Ecology Management. O’Malley plans to continue to breed and compete with Pointers and Vizslas in the future.

Kaitlynn Myers from Leslie, MO:

Kaitlynn competed in AKC events with her Golden Retriever.  Kaitlynn competes in Rally working towards a Rally Championship title and Fast Cat.  She is a member of the Dardenne Retriever Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America.  Kaitlynn will be entering her third year at the University of Missouri.

Annaliese North from Stillwater, MN:

Annaliese competes in AKC events with her Smooth Fox Terrier and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Annalies is a member of the Twin Cities Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club and the American Fox Terrier Club. Annaliese will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the Fall.

Octavia Stenson from Everson, WA:

Octavia competes with Norwegian Buhunds. Octavia is a member of the Buhund Club of America, won Juniors at the AKC National Championship in 2023, representing the United States at the International Junior Competition. Octavia Is attending Western Washington University studying Mandarin and Business.

Fenric Towell from Norfolk, VA:

Fenric owns, breeds, and shows Lakeland Terrier and Beagles.  Fenric is a member of the United States Lakeland Terrier Club, volunteering at Meet the Breeds held at the Javitz Center.  Fenric is currently attending the Tidewater Community College.

Olivia Uyeno from La Habra Heights, CA:

Olivia competed with Standard Manchester Terriers and Golden Retrievers. Olivia was also involved in FFA in High School. Olivia is a rising sophomore at Colorado State University with a major in Animal Science with hopes to attend Veterinary School.

Allison YoHo from Stillwater, MN:

Allison competed in Juniors with Shetland Sheepdogs and Golden Retrievers and is a member of the Greater Twin Cities Golden Retriever Club. Allison is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cites majoring in Economics. Allison plans to continue to participate as a breeder and exhibitor of Golden Retrievers.

Ashley YoHo from Stillwater, MN:

Ashley competed in Juniors with multiple breeds including Shetland Sheepdogs and Golden Retrievers.  Ashley is still an active member of the North Star Herding Group Club and the Lochland Shetland Sheepdog Club.  Ashley is a rising second year student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison majoring in Agriculture and Applied Economics and Environmental Science.

Allyson Zapadinsky from Cary, NC:

Allyson competed in Junior Showmanship with her Boxer. Allyson assisted at the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day held in Raleigh, NC. Ally is attending UNC-Asheville in the Fall.

To learn more about junior scholarships, visit