Shawe Memorial High School senior Spencer Torline is Indiana’s 2013 Outstanding Catholic Youth. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
Shawe Memorial High School senior Spencer Torline is Indiana’s 2013 Outstanding Catholic Youth. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
Spencer Torline, a senior at Shawe Memorial High School, has been named 2013's Outstanding Catholic Youth for the state of Indiana.

Torline, 18, entered a contest to become the Outstanding Catholic Youth for the Knights of Columbus Lodge #934 in Madison. To be considered for the award, Torline had to submit an application and essay to the local chapter along with lists of his activities in the community.

"What we look for is a young person that has gone above and beyond in contributions to church, to their school and to their community," said Kevin Fry, Grand Knight of the local chapter.

Torline was picked as the local representative in November 2012 after a meeting of the Knights of Columbus.

"He was more than deserving," Fry said.

After being named the local representative, Torline filled out an application to enter into the state-wide contest for Outstanding Catholic Youth of the Year.

"When I sent in the application, I put it out of my mind," Torline said.

Fry said the state level Knights of Columbus look at the same factors as the local groups to determine who they will pick as the winner. Torline was announced as the Outstanding Catholic Youth of the Year in March and he was awarded a plaque in April by the state organization.

"I was very excited. I was surprised because every year we have a local winner and I haven't known anyone who had won," Torline said.

For winning the two distinctions, Torline received a $400 scholarship from the local Knights of Columbus chapter and a $1,400 scholarship from the state chapter.

Torline credits his different services as the reason he took home the top prize. He has worked at the Salvation Army and homeless shelters providing any needed services. His projects include organizing a closet and cooking meals.

Torline is the son of Bill and Priscilla Torline of Madison. After graduation, Torline wants to attend college where he is considering studying environmental chemistry. Ultimately, he hopes to work on developing useable water systems.

Torline's application has now gone on to the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in Connecticut, where representatives will vote on the 50 representatives from each state to determine the Outstanding Catholic Youth for the country. The winner is expected to be named in the upcoming weeks.