Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (B&GCSM) selects an outstanding young person to receive its annual Youth of the Year Award (the highest honor bestowed upon a member of Boys & Girls Clubs).
This award recognizes commendable character, academic achievement and outstanding volunteer service to a member’s Club and community.
We are grateful to our Judges this year, comprised of prominent members from business and professional circles throughout Southeastern Michigan.
2017 Youth of the Year Judges
Mitch Harris, B&GCSM Board Member
Nancy McLernon Brown, McLernon Brown Scholarship Fund
Hiram Jackson, B&GCSM Chair of Board
2017 Youth of the Year – 1st Place
Lloyd H. Diehl Club
Roy has been a Club member since 2010 and credits the Club with helping him to develop strong character, sportsmanship, confidence, discipline, and achieve academic success in advanced placement classes. According to Roy, staff at the Diehl Club encouraged him and gave him a chance to feel special, to beat the odds and conquer his problems. “I think the Boys & Girls Club staff is perfect for a child just like me. Children who want someone to say they have their back. Staff takes children under their wing and will treat you as if you were their child.”
2017 Youth of the Year – Runner-Up
Richard & Patricia Donahey Club
As a member of Boys & Girls Clubs since 2009, Alexandria praises her Club for shaping her into the confident, intelligent young woman she is today. While at her Club, Alexandria takes advantage of the many programs offered including Smart Girls and Money Matters. Alexandria finds time to mentor the younger kids at the Club, play volleyball at her high school, and focus on academics. She will be attending Michigan State University in the fall for Nursing.
2017 Youth of the Year – Third Place (Tie)
When she became a member at age 7, the Club is where Gabrielle met her first friends and learned to socialize with others. Gabrielle is praised by staff, coaches, and teachers as a “pleasure” to be around and someone that doesn’t let challenges deter her. Gabrielle wants America’s youth to realize that failure is the first step to success.
Matilda R. Wilson Club
As an athlete, Marcus initially came to the Club to stay active over the summer. “Nine years ago I found my Club an active place to be. After these nine years, I have found the Club to be the most supportive and honest place to be.” Marcus aspires to play college football and pursue a culinary arts degree.