GRAND PRAIRIE – Tiffany Sweet, a former graduate of Waxahachie Global High School and Navarro College Waxahachie campus, was presented the Youth Participant of the Year award during the 17th annual Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas Awards of Excellence on Tuesday morning.

Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas is made up of 14 different counties, and out of those counties, Sweet was chosen for this prestigious award.

Anthony Moore, an employee at the Waxahachie Workforce Center, said when the board of directors were looking over the nominees for this category, Sweet stood out among the rest.

“No one could come close to matching what this young lady has been able to accomplish in the past year,” Moore said. “She is, by far, in a league all on her own.”

Moore reflected on the first conversation he ever had with Sweet about being a part of the Workforce team. He said her first order of business concerned how the organization was going to help her achieve her goals and become an animator.

“Right out of the gate, she wanted to know what we were going to do to help her achieve everything she wanted to achieve,” he said. “I asked her what did she want to accomplish between that time and the time she would graduate.”

Sweet responded by saying, “I'm a very busy person. I volunteer in church, visit people in nursing homes, help serve food to those living on the streets in Dallas on the weekends and I'm attending high school and college.”

Moore said he realized at that moment that Sweet was a dedicated and passionate young lady.

“The moment she became a part of us, she dove right into our programs,” he said. “Since that time, she has participated in many work related workshops.”

He said through the wise direction of their account manager, Loree Scott, they were able to place Sweet at the Waxahachie Daily Light. He said that's a decision that will “ever supercharge her animation trigger.”

While participating in the youth program through the Workforce, Sweet managed to graduate from high school and earn her associate's degree at the same time.

Moore said he wishes that he had 20 more young people just like her.

When Sweet took to the podium to receive her award, she talked about what an honor it was to see her efforts recognized.

“I want to thank Tony (Moore) and all of you at the Workforce for giving me the opportunity,” Sweet said. “Working at the newspaper was such a cool job and it gave me a lot of experience.”

Sweet added that it felt good to know that people were inspired by her story and where she came from. She said she wants young people to understand that your background doesn't matter, anybody can do anything.

“Working for Neal White at the newspaper gave me a chance to showcase my talent in animation,” she said. “Having that experience really set me on course for what I'm doing now.”

Sweet is now pursuing her career as an animator at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is hoping to get an internship at Reel FX in Dallas, with the hopes of one day nailing down a job at DreamWorks Animation.