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On Thursday, April 11, 2019 Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware held its annual Youth of the Year event at The Queen in Wilmington. To a packed house, nearly 300 friends of the Clubs filled the room to celebrate the occasion; the conclusion of the event brought with it the announcement of the 2019 Delaware Youth of the Year Ardavia Lee, of our own Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club. Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware’s signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy. Those fortunate enough to be inside The Queen on April 11th were privy to the very best of Delaware’s youth.

Each of the finalists and the performers created a moving message of hope for their Great Futures.

One that Ardavia carried with her following the big night. Ardavia’s mother is Ardythe Hope – the first African-American female firefighter in Wilmington, Delaware – who died due to her injuries on the job. In true Ardavia fashion, Ardavia, her mentor (Ciara Hooks), and her Club family took her Youth of the Year award to Station #5 of the Wilmington Fire Department. There with her mother’s memory all around her and those that love her most, she again celebrated her victory.

So what is next for Ardavia? Aside from graduating this spring and embarking on college in the fall, Ardavia will compete for the title of Northeast Region Youth of the Year (June 2019) and an additional $10,000 college scholarship, (renewable up to 4 years). Should she win (and we have every reason to believe she will), the six teens, including five regional winners and the National Military Youth of the Year, advance to Washington, D.C., for the National Youth of the Year competition where one outstanding young person is selected Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson. The National Youth of the Year is a role model, leader, and advocate for the nearly 4 million youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and all of America’s young people. The National Youth of the Year receives a $25,000 scholarship (renewable for up to 4 years) and induction by the President of the United States in the Oval Office. We wish Ardavia good luck as she moves forward in this competition and are so proud of her and she represents everything our Club is about.

Ardavia's Finalists Speech, April 11, 2019, Youth of the Year


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