Sarah Dudley-Taylor Receives Julia Clukey Courage Award

Olympian honors local student for leadership and overcoming adversity

JAY, Maine – On Oct. 21, Olympian Julia Clukey reached more than 400 students as part of her “Julia Inspires” campaign when she presented to students from Spruce Mountain High School. As part of the assembly, Clukey encouraged students to find their passion, create a plan and go after their dreams. After the presentation, she honored Sarah Dudley-Taylor with the Julia Clukey Courage Award. Dudley-Taylor received the honor because of her leadership skills and ability to overcome adversity.

Olympian Julia Clukey presents Sarah Dudley-Taylor, a senior at Spruce Mountain High School, with the Julia Clukey Courage Award.

Olympian Julia Clukey presents Sarah Dudley-Taylor, a senior at Spruce Mountain High School, with the Julia Clukey Courage Award. Photo courtesy: MBWDA

Clukey, 31, has shared her story at 63 Maine schools, reaching more than 19,000 students. The Augusta native is scheduled to present at more middle schools and high schools this year.

“Sarah is a remarkable young woman. Her inner strength, leadership skills and ability to overcome adversity make her a great recipient for the award. I enjoyed learning about her story and loved hearing that she has set a goal to become an elementary school teacher. I think she has a very bright future ahead of her,” said Clukey.

Administrators at Spruce Mountain High School selected Dudley-Taylor to receive the award because during the past two years she has blossomed; not only personally, but also as a student, a role model, and a leader. She is an active member of JMG (Jobs for Maine’s Graduates), serving as president of Spruce Mountain High School’s JMG program. She also has made plans to attend college in the fall.

“Sarah faced some significant personal setbacks in the past two years that even most adults might have been devastated by. Other people faced with similar circumstances might have responded by withdrawing from the world, becoming bitter or angry, or giving up. Rather than being sucked into any of those negative reactions, she faced the serious challenges and adversity head-on. She showed true courage by using hardship as the catalyst to build her own inner strength and confidence,” said Thomas Plourde, principal at Spruce Mountain High School.

The presentation was provided at no cost to the school as part of Clukey’s “Julia Inspires” campaign that continues to build on her success as spokesperson for the Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association (MBWDA). The new campaign is made possible by the MBWDA. Middle and high school administrators can request a presentation at www.clukeyluge.com.

After a 19-year luge career, Clukey recently announced her retirement from the sport based on recent concerns about her future health related to onset of pain she has experienced from Arnold-Chiari malformation, a congenital brain condition that she has endured throughout her career.

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Editor’s Note: Use the link below to download the high resolution version of the photo.

Olympian Julia Clukey presents Sarah Dudley-Taylor, a senior at Spruce Mountain High School, with the Julia Clukey Courage Award. Photo courtesy: MBWDA
About the MBWDA
The Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association (MBWDA), founded in 1933, is a nonprofit trade association that advocates on behalf of Maine-based, family-owned businesses licensed to distribute beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages to Maine retailers, restaurants and bars that are licensed to sell these products to consumers. MBWDA members operate under a state-based regulatory system that ensures products are consumed legally and responsibly. The association and their spokesperson Olympian Julia Clukey also support numerous alcohol awareness initiatives to help Maine residents make responsible choices about alcohol. For more information, visit www.mainebeerandwine.com.

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