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.
2016 Youth of the Year Judges
Jennifer Whitteaker, DTE Energy Foundation
Leven Weiss, Esq., Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Club Alumnus
Mary Singos, Nicholas A. Showich Character & Leadership Fund
Mitch Harris, B&GCSM Board Member
2016 Youth of the Year
Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus – NFL/YET, Detroit
As a 12-year Club member, Juwuan has participated in programs and activities that have taught him how to communicate effectively and develop strong leadership skills. He has been honored multiple times for outstanding behavior, good decision making skills and for making a positive difference, both as a role model for other Club members, and by giving back to his Club and community. But, nothing has meant more to him than the support he received from his “Club Family” after he was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness in 2013. Juwuan describes the Club as a “lifeline that kept him going through his darkest days.” Now with his health issues behind him, Juwuan is excited about attending college in the fall.
2016 Youth of the Year – Runner-Up
Richard & Patricia Donahey Club
Alexandria says, “I thank my Boys & Girls Club for making me happier and allowing me to feel better about myself.” One of her greatest joys at the Donahey Club is serving as a mentor for new Club members.
2016 Youth of the Year – Third Place (Tie)
Destinee Z. Hayes
Calling the Club her “second home,” Destinee credits the Club with helping her be the success she is today. For seven years, she has been a valued member of the Romulus Club and is thrilled to be considered a role model for younger Club members.
Huron Valley Club, Ypsilanti
A member of the Huron Valley Club for eight years, Reginald credits the Club staff with helping him thrive in school despite having a learning disability. He is a leader amongst his peers and values that the Club allows him to interact with a diverse group of young people.
Youth of the Year
Lloyd H. Diehl Club, Detroit
During her four years as a Club member, J’Lysa turned her passion for dance into a summer job – instructing younger girls in a dance camp that she organized. “Working at the Club also helped me to become a better leader. It taught me to be patient and not to judge people before I get to know them.”
James & Lynelle Holden Club, Detroit
Anointed credits her Club with helping her overcome numerous family and personal struggles. She feels the Club staff was there for her through the rough patches of her life. During her 11 years as a Club member, Anointed has pursued her passion for sports, art and leadership – all in a safe and supportive environment.
Vic & Lucille Wertz Club, Shelby Township
An active participant in the Wertz Club’s many sports programs, Maxwell also credits the Club with helping him be a better leader and person. Maxwell hopes to influence the next generation of young people by working towards a more supportive and engaged educational system.
Matilda R. Wilson Club, Auburn Hills
Julio says he was “shy and voiceless” prior to joining the Club at age six. Thanks to the Wilson Club’s supportive staff and the many Club activities, Julio has become a leader ready to use his voice for change.
Fauver-Martin Club, Highland Park
Sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork are three qualities David believes he gained from his experience at the Club, which began at the age of six. Since that time, David has had numerous Club experiences that have helped shape his future.