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Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties to announce 2024 Youth of the Year at SOLD OUT Steak & Burger event on March 1

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Five local high school students are finalists for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties 2024 Youth of the Year title. This prestigious honor will be presented to the selected candidate at the organization’s annual Steak & Burger, 2024 Youth of the Year Celebration on Friday, March 1.

Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been the premier recognition program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that fosters a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global, and integrated world economy. The program celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Club members across the nation. Candidates compete at the local Club, state, and regional levels before attending the national celebration. Youth who compete for these titles embody the values of leadership service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles.

The following finalists have exemplified the Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission and are proof of the impact the Clubs make in transforming lives:

Bianca D. is a senior at North Port High School. After graduation, she hopes to study Psychology & Theological Studies and one day pursue a career as a Family Therapist, Entrepreneur, and Preacher.

"The relationships, lessons, and opportunities that Boys & Girls Club has bestowed upon me, changed my life and ignited my passion for Service. I am committed to showing my gratitude by uplifting communities like those impacted by The Club, enabling others to discover the power of their voices.” 

Ava M. is a junior at Pine View School. After graduation, he she plans to study Biochemistry and one day pursue a career as a surgeon.

“Through the Club’s programs, I learned how to say “Yes.” Yes to things that made me uncomfortable. Yes, to new opportunities. My Club taught me that there are incredible experiences in this world that can only happen if I am open to them.”

Sierra M. is a senior at Riverview High School. After graduation, she plans to study Political Science & Public Health and one day pursue a career in Non-Profit.

"From the moment I set foot inside The Club, it emerged as a powerful force in shaping my identity. Within its walls, I discovered my voice, found a deep sense of belonging, and embraced the leader within me. The Club has guided me towards recognizing my self-worth; at The Club, I have never questioned my value." 

Nishalle U. is a senior at Pine View School. After graduation, she plans to study Pre-Medicine and one day pursue a career as a Family Physician/Primary Care Physician.

“The Club is not just a place, but a compass that guides me in my journey ahead, encouraging me to advocate for the underserved, translate my passions into meaningful actions, and delve into the exploration of my community with purpose and conviction.”

Ashley V. is a senior at Venice High School. After graduation, she plans to study Biomedical Sciences and one day pursue a career as a Physician specializing in Endocrinology or Anesthesiology.

“The Club has shown me that I not only have the potential to achieve my dreams, I also have the capacity to inspire those around me. Guided by their teachings, I have emerged as a leader in my community and have nurtured a collective sense of responsibility among my peers for our shared future.” 

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