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Chelsea Flemings announced as local Boys & Girls Clubs 2015 Youth of the Year

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On February 26th, the community celebrated three Youth of the Year finalists and announced Chelsea Flemings as this year’s local winner.
Three local Youth of the Year finalists.

Three local Youth of the Year finalists. /Terry Johnston Photography

Chelsea Flemings being awarded 2015 Youth of the Year.

Chelsea Flemings being awarded 2015 Youth of the Year. /Terry Johnston Photography

Over 350 community members and supporters came to encourage and celebrate the youth.

Over 350 community members and supporters came to encourage and celebrate the youth. /Terry Johnston Photography

Established in 1947, “Youth of the Year” is Boys & Girls Club of America’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.

Local Clubs recognize members as “Youth of the Month” winners. The Club also holds a local “Youth of the Year” competition for Club members between the ages of 14-18, where one Club member is then selected as the “Youth of the Year”. The local Clubs’ “Youth of the Year” then participates in the state competition.

State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The “National Youth of the Year” receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

Club members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth recently submitted applications for this year’s Youth of the Year scholarship competition. All applicants were screened and judged on leadership qualities and service exhibited in the following areas: Home and Family, Moral Character, Community, School, Service to Club, Life Goals, Obstacles Overcome, Essays, Poise, and Public Speaking. Each Club member participant submitted an essay and went through an interview process with a carefully selected judges panel.

Over 350 community members gathered at the Youth of the Year Celebration Luncheon at the Steil Boys & Girls Club on February 26th and celebrated their three finalists: Chelsea Flemings, Timothy Morton, and Naton Brown. After hearing heartwarming speeches from all three Club members, Chelsea Flemings was selected as this year’s winner.

“Throughout my Club experience, I have seen several different characteristics and backgrounds in which many of the members come from,” said 2015 Youth of the Year Chelsea Flemings. “This makes my drive to help young people even stronger.”

Chelsea is a 15-year-old sophomore at Innovations Central High School in the Health & Sciences program. Chelsea has been a Club member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth since 2012.  Her extracurricular activities include Varsity Cheerleading, Student Council Treasurer, and Girls Growing II Women Youth Vice President. Chelsea is a passionate advocate for living a healthy lifestyle and being a role model for young girls. Her future plans include attending Howard University to become a speech pathologist. Chelsea’s vision for the youth of America is to strengthen relationships between the inner city communities and police officers.

The 2015 Youth of the Year will receive a $1,000 scholarship. All 2015 finalists received a iPad Tablet from Genius Phone Repair, Shoes and Clothing from Reynolds and Sons, and Padfolio & Pen from Huntington Bank. 

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