Twenty young members of Boys & Girls Clubs throughout New Jersey will assemble at the Trenton Marriott in Trenton, NJ on May 18th to compete for the honor of state-wide Youth of the Year. The Youth of the Year programs recognizes outstanding contributions of Club members between the ages of 14-18 years old to their family, school, community, Boys & Girls Club, and for overcoming personal challenges and obstacles.
Nominated by their respective clubs, each entrant filled out an extensive application with details of their accomplishments and background. Every candidate will be interviewed and judged by a panel of New Jersey state and business leaders followed by the announcement of the winner after an awards reception and dinner.
“In reviewing this year’s candidates for the New Jersey Youth of the Year honor, I was impressed by the candidates and their efforts to make a meaningful difference in their communities,” said Michael Manzo, Chief Operating Officer at Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems. “These young men and women are living proof that Boys & Girls Clubs build character and provide opportunities for our youth to achieve their full potential.”
“Wal-Mart is proud to sponsor this year’s Youth of the Year program,” says Gerald Herrin, Director of Operations, Metro New York. “The Boys and Girls Clubs in New Jersey have been instrumental in youth development throughout the state. Their dedication and the hard work of exceptional teens are consistent with Wal-Mart’s commitment to building a strong community.”
Montel Williams, Emmy Award Winning talk show host, will deliver the Keynote address. “These young people have worked very hard and each and every one of them deserves the Youth of the Year Award. I am happy to be a part of this special event recognizing their efforts and hope to play a role in inspiring them to continue on the path of success.”
The winner will receive $20,000 from Wal-Mart, a $1,000 scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Foundation, plus a chance to compete in the regional competition held in July in New York City. If named regional winner, they will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and advance to the national competition in Washington. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 college scholarship and will be installed by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the Oval Office.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey
Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey are part of a national network of local Clubs and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. There are 25 Club organizations in more than 60 communities who work daily to assist youth from all backgrounds achieve their full potential as productive adults and responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey serve 120,000 children ages 6-18. More information about Boys & Girls Clubs is available at www.bgcnj.org.
About Montel Williams
Montel Williams is an Emmy Award® winning television personality and radio talk show host. Battling Multiple Sclerosis daily, Williams has built the Living Well with Montel brand, by incorporating life experience and the information he has accumulated through personal account and professional opinions. Living Well is focused on products that can help consumers live better physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Williams is a decorated naval officer, inspirational speaker and book author, wellness entrepreneur and health advocate.