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Boys & Girls Clubs of GR Announces 2016 Youth of the Year Finalists

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids has announced their three local Youth of the Year finalists. Celebrate these young leaders at the Youth of the Year Luncheon!

2016 Youth of the Year Luncheon

Thursday, February 25, 2016
11:30AM - Registration Starts
12:00-1:00PM - Lunch & Program Begins
@ Steil Club (235 Straight Avenue)

Join us for this FREE event celebrating our Club members and featuring keynote speakers Cesar Vergas, 2010 & 2011 Youth of the Year Winner, and Kristin Ekkens, Manager Inclusion & Diversity – Spectrum Health.

Please RSVP to Elyse Mathos at 616.233.9370 x104 or [email protected].

On February 25, 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids will celebrate the extraordinary achievements of three of its teen members at the annual Youth of The Year Luncheon. Since 1947, “Youth of the Year” has been the premier way for Boys & Girls Club of America to recognize Club members who embody the values of leadership service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles.

Each of the three Grand Rapids Clubs have selected a Club member who will compete for Youth of the Year 2016. The finalists are Ana S. from Steil Club, Alim P. from Paul I. Phillip Club, and Makijha S. from Seidman Club. Each of these youth exemplifies the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. This Luncheon is a chance to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the Club members and announce the Grand Rapids' 2016 Youth of the Year.

Rick Huisman, Executive Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, recognizes what extraordinary members attend the Clubs in Grand Rapids and hopes the community sees the benefits of participating in Youth of the Year.

“Youth of the Year is an opportunity for our kids to tell their stories about what Boys & Girls Club has meant to them,” said Huisman. “It is such an amazing thing for these youth to have the courage to stand up at the podium and share their experiencess to our community's leaders and Club supporters.”

Each of the three finalists will receive scholarships provided by Lake Michigan Credit Union. The Grand Rapids' Youth of the Year winner will also be eligible to compete statewide with members from other Boys & Girls Clubs around Michigan. The state winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional participants will move on to compete on the national level. The “National Youth of the Year” will receive up to an additional $50,000 scholarship.

The 2016 Youth of the Year Luncheon will be held on Thursday, February 25 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and will be held at the Steil Club (235 Straight Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI). Members of the community are encouraged to join this free to attend event to celebrate Club members. Please RSVP to Elyse Mathos at 616-233-9370 x104 or [email protected]. If you are interested in more information on this event, you can visit

Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids is a nonprofit that supports youth and community through programs at three Club locations. The organization's mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible citizens through education, recreation, and other positive community experiences in partnership with the Grand Rapids Police Department. For more information, please visit

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