Reporter Christina Chiarelli takes a look back at who made news in Culture in Stamford in 2013.
A nine year veteran with the Stamford Police Department and leader of its K-9 unit -- Officer Seth O'Brien was named Officer of the Year. After a twenty five year pause on the police K-9 program, O'Brien revived it with a fellow officer in 2009.
"The administration was very good to us. They said here you go, it's your thing, we really don't know much about it, get it going. I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity," said Seth O'Brien.
O'Brien works with a 6-year old German shepherd named "Cooper." He's one of four police in the state who can certify K-9 teams for the National Police Canine Association.
He may only be 13 years old, but he's already made a name for himself in the world of cooking. Stamford teen Hunter Zampa competed in Food Network's Kids Cook Off.
Though he didn't take the win, he was back on the network competing in Chopped Teen Challenge. There, he was victorious, taking home a $40,000 scholarship to the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes.
We caught up with the young chef in October after he returned from his first food network competition.
"It was kind of the biggest thing that's happened so far in my life. I mean being on TV and everybody watching you and everybody cheering you on. It's just really cool," said Hunter Zampa.
We'll catch up again with Hunter again in 2014.
The spotlight also shone on another Stamford resident in 2013, quite literally.
Miss Connecticut Kaitlyn Tarpey took to the stage at the Miss America pageant in September. After making the top ten and returning home, she opened up with us about encouraging all young girls to follow their dreams, giving confidence to other red heads and her Miss America interview. During the interview, she was asked about her stance on gun control in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"As Miss Connecticut, you better your bottom dollar I have a lot of hard and emotional feelings on that issue," said Kaitlyn Tarpey. "It's so close to home. I have family members in Sandy Hook."
"When I walked out of that interview room and in that interview room I said as Miss CT I'd like to say that we do choose love. And it that moment it was kind of like this overwhelming recognition that I really am representing a state that's so much more than the letters on my sash."
To find out more about the program, visit missctamerica.org.
Thanks for watching us on ItsRelevant.com. See you in 2014.