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Boys & Girls Clubs celebrate local Youth of the Year winner at free luncheon

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Join Boys & Girls Clubs of GR for a FREE luncheon honoring the local Grand Rapids Youth of the Year winner and applicants.

FREE Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon

Date: Thursday, Feb. 27
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm
Place: Paul I. Phillips Club
726 Madison St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Boys & Girls Club of America’s National Youth of the Year program recognizes the outstanding strength and service demonstrated by Club members across the country. Each Club chooses a Youth of the Year to compete on the state level hoping to continue through to the regional and national level. The five regional winners appear before members of Congress and other dignitaries to celebrate their success. Since the very first National Youth of the Year in 1947, the national winner receives his or her award from the President of the United States before beginning a one-year term as the teen spokesperson for all Boys & Girls Club members.

Club members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth recently submitted applications for this year’s Youth of the Year scholarship competition. All applicants are screened and judged on leadership qualities and service exhibited in the following areas: Home and Family, Moral Character, Community, School, Service to Club, Life Goals, Obstacles Overcome, Essays, Poise, and Public Speaking. Each Club member participant submits an essay and goes through an interview process with a carefully selected judges panel.

Here’s an excerpt from one applicant’s 2014 Youth of the Year essay:

“The first time I went to the Club, I didn’t really know what to expect from it. After my sister died of her long fateful battle with cancer and my father went to jail on a crime he didn’t commit, my whole life was falling apart. There was absolutely no rest for the weak, brutality knows no bounds. Could there have been a remedy for all of these tragedies? The only remedy we could think of was to make new friends. The Club seemed like a perfect place to do that. When my brother and I walked through those front doors, we felt a new kind of energy. A positive energy one could say. Him and I knew this could be a new beginning for the both of us.”

The Grand Rapids Youth of the Year winner will be announced at a FREE Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon on Thursday, February 27, 11:30-1:00pm at Paul I. Phillips Boys & Girls Club. All applicants will be celebrated for their hard work and dedication to being outstanding individuals and Club members. This event is open to the public and press. More information on reserving your seat can be found here:


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth

In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them. Founded in 1938 by Grand Rapids Superintendent of Police Frank O’Malley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth engages youth in building positive and meaningful relationships with police officers, staff and adults through programs in the areas of recreation, education, leadership development, healthy life skills, arts, education and positive community services.  Boys & Girls Clubs offer programs and services that promote and enhance development by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. For more information about Grand Rapids Boys & Girls Clubs visit

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