Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware held its annual Youth of the Year Be Great Gala on April 18th. Nine (9) outstanding youth from Clubs around the state competed for the 2018 George Krupanski, Jr. Delaware Youth of the Year title. After a close and competitive Selection Weekend event (April 13-14), a panel of distinguished judges declared Curryn Henry of Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club the 2018 Youth of the Year. “All the Youth of the Year Finalists were exceptional and winners in my book”, stated John Wellons, President & CEO.
Several Special awards were given out to those finalists that stood out in specific categories including;
As determined by the judges and according to current high school transcripts, the winner of the Academic Achievement Award has the highest grade point average and/or academic growth in his or her high school career.
As determined by the judges, the winner of the Outstanding Essay Award submitted the three most effectively written essays overall.
As selected by the judges, the Community Service Award goes to the finalist that demonstrated exceptional and consistent effort in strengthening his or her community by helping others.
As selected by the judges, the Leadership Award goes to the finalist that demonstrated exceptional leadership in service to the Club, their family, school, and community.
As selected by his/her fellow finalists, the Friendship Award goes to the finalist who most genuinely demonstrates friendship and kindness, positive attitude, and encouragement and support of all the other finalists at the selection event.
Youth of the Year is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Since November 2017 Clubs from across the state have been working with their teen members and Club mentors as part of the Youth of the Year process to identify one young person to represent their Club as a Youth of the Year finalist.
Youth of the Year honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. This years event was held at The Baby Grand in Wilmington. “The Youth of the Year Be Great Gala is the highlight of the year, where the very best of our Clubs are honored and recognized” said Cheryl Rice who oversees the Youth of the Year program for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. “Curryn Henry will serve as an ambassador for all teens in the state, will receive a $5,000 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and will go on to vie for the regional Youth of the Year and ultimately the national title” Rice went on to say.
A critical part of the Youth of the Year process is the Selection Weekend, where judges meet and interview the finalists. Youth of the Year Judges reflect the same high morals and character qualities demanded of Club members. They mirror the diversity of Club participants, in regards to cultural and ethnic make-up, as well as various backgrounds and career paths. Additionally their participation demonstrates to Club youth that our volunteers are strongly committed to their development as caring and productive citizens. The 2018 Judges include: Regina Sidney-Brown (United Way of Delaware), Dr. Eric Cheek (Delaware State University), Matthew MacNeal (Blue Rock Financial Group), Randy J. Redcay (Comenity Bank), Dwayne Redd (State Farm), Kathleen Schell (Ocean Atlantic Sotheby’s International Realty) and Michael Smith (Navient).
“Youth of the Year nominees are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs across the Delaware are inspiring and enabling young people to achieve great futures,” said John Wellons, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. “Being named Youth of the Year is a lifelong honor. As the Delaware Youth of the Year, the 2018 winner will serve as a spokesperson for our young people, sharing their inspiring story and leading the way to transform communities for the better” said Chris Basher, COO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware’s Youth of the Year recognition program is presented by DuPont. Rick Deadwyler, of DuPont made a moving tribute to the 9 finalists for their powerful speeches and accomplishments. DuPont has supported the youth advocacy organization for more than 60+ years, empowering young people to reach their full potential and providing youth with access to the tools they need to build the great futures they imagine. M&T, Capital One, Mellon Group, ShopRite, WSFS, Arthur Hall Insurance, Brown Advisory, Lyons Companies, and Johnny Janosik join this year’s event as Sponsors; dedicated to inspiring the next generations of engineers, thinkers and leaders who will help drive the Delaware economy.
Katherine Bacu was named 2018 Delaware Military Youth of the Year and will join Curryn in June in New York City to vie for the Northeast Regional title for Military Youth of the Year.