In April of 2022, Orlando Rider took home the George Krupanski Jr. Delaware Youth of the Year trophy. After months of hard work and practice, he received the highest honor for our youth and went on to represent Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware at the regional Youth of the Year competition. Today, he remains an integral part of the Clarence Fraim Boys & Girls Club, and is working towards a degree in criminal justice.
Following the Delaware Youth of the Year award ceremony at the Queen, Orlando quickly began to prepare for the regional competition in New York City. “I was excited for the experience because I’d never been to New York before” he said. He took the feedback he received from the Delaware competition, and worked to perfect his speech for regionals. Though he didn’t win, Orlando speaks highly of the experience and the opportunity to compete at the next level.
Now in his sophomore year of undergrad, Orlando currently attends Del Tech and is working towards his B.A. in Criminal Justice. After graduation, he plans to attend law school. Throughout the Youth of the Year process, Orlando connected with many attorneys and other individuals in the field who he says were encouraging about his goals and offered great advice. “It helped me make sure that this is what I want to do” he says. When asked about whether he plans to attend law school in Delaware, Orlando says it’s a difficult decision, but he’d like to explore opportunities outside of the first state. “There’s still time to change my mind."
Today Orlando continues to work at the Clarence Fraim Boys & Girls Club as a Youth Development Professional. A favorite among Club members (who have named a rabbit after him), he loves having his own classroom and connecting with students. This school year, Orlando is excited about leading a sports club for students, with each month focusing on a different sport. Orlando also mentored the 2023 Clarence Fraim Youth of the Year, Brandon Thomas. During Brandon’s preparation process, Orlando encouraged him to do his best while giving advice on how to perfect his speech.
Looking back, Orlando is thankful for the Youth of the Year Experience and feels that it helped him to get where he is today. He remains close with many of his fellow Youth of the Year participants, and thanks the Club for helping him to make those connections. “The Club continues to hold a special place in my life, and has helped me grow in and outside of the Club. I’m thankful for the connections I’ve made, and the opportunity I have now to plant seeds in the minds of the youth I work with each day.”