2013 Youth of the Year
Six area teens met before a crowd of more than 60 friends, family members and judges to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (BGCM) Youth of the Year. The youth shared tales of overcoming the witnessing domestic abuse, homelessness,…
Six area teens met before a crowd of more than 60 friends, family members and judges to compete for the title of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (BGCM) Youth of the Year. The youth shared tales of overcoming the witnessing domestic abuse, homelessness, a stepfather’s attempted suicide and the local Boy’s & Girls Club that provided refuge from the storm.
Six area judges determined Jorge Ayon, an 18-year-old senior at Omaha South High School and 11-year member of the South Omaha Boys & Girls Club winner of the BGCM Youth of the Year Title, making Ayon the most distinguished among over 5,000 BGCM members in the metro Omaha area.
After the announcement, a teary and choked-up Ayon stood at the podium as Ivan Gilreath, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, placed his hand on his back telling the young man to take his time. After a few minutes, Ayon spoke.
“My journey hasn’t been easy,” Ayon said. “Everything that I’ve learned is thanks to my family and the Club. Being here is an honor for me. This is something I will always have with me.”
The six competing teens, each currently representing an area Boys & Girls Club came together in the metro-wide culmination of the Youth of the Year Program (YOY), which promotes service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Contestants this year were:
• North Omaha Unit Youth of the Year – Jordyn Henry
• South Omaha Unit Youth of the Year – Jorge Ayon
• Carter Lake Unit Youth of the Year – Haley Banks
• Westside Unit Youth of the Year – Emmalee Shields
• Mount View Unit Youth of the Year – Allysia Holm-Peoples
• Council Bluffs Unit Youth of the Year – Cameron Sada-Schlotfeld
The Midlands Youth of the Year, Jorge Ayon will compete to win the Nebraska State title on March 7 in Lincoln. The state YOY title also provides the winner with a $1,000 college scholarship and a chance to compete in for the Regional title in Chicago in July 2013. Five regional winners across the United States 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.