On Thursday, March 9, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast announced the winners of the Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year program at their Annual Dinner at The Island Resort.
Since 1947, the Youth of the Year program has been the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, providing the highest honor any teen member can receive. The addition of the Junior Youth of the Year extends these opportunities to youth ages 10-13 years old. The Youth of the Year (YOY) embodies the values of leadership, character, and service; academic excellence; and living a healthy lifestyle.
Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state, and regional Youth of the Year events. Six teens advance to the National Youth of the Year, where one outstanding young person is named National Youth of the Year. This national teen spokesperson is a role model, leader, and advocate for the millions of youth served by Clubs each year and all of America's young people.
"Youth of the Year winners embody the values of leadership and service and have proven academic excellence. This group of remarkable young people makes the lives of all those around them better by their kindness, leadership, service, and encouragement to others. Together, we congratulate each of them for all of their hard work and dedication to the Clubs and our community.” - Shervin Rassa, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast
(From left to right): Shevin Rassa, Vivienne Smiley, Paulo Niva, Jamiah Dial (YOY Winner)
Junior Youth of the Year Candidates & Winner:
Italy Kane (Winner) - Destin Club
Tania Caldwell (1st Runner-Up) - Jacobe Turner Teen Center
Laniyah Parker (2nd Runner-Up) - Riverside Club
Aniah Wyatt - Fort Walton Beach Club
Damien Fonville - Kenwood Club
Isaiah Brown - South Walton Club
Rayan Rose - DeFuniak Springs Club
Nashyree Robinson - Englewood (Pensacola) Club
Kamari Pettiway - Montclair Club
Youth of the Year Candidates & Winner:
Jamiah Dial (Winner) - DeFuniak Springs Club
Paulo Niva (1st Runner-Up) - South Walton Club
Vivienne Smiley (2nd Runner-Up) - Jacobe Turner Teen Center
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast is a registered IRS 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. The Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast receives funding from contributions, special events, grants, and major donors such as Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and United Way agencies in Escambia and Okaloosa/Walton Counties. Visit www.emeraldcoastbgc.org/ for more information.