"The Club accepted me, helped me with my first job and provided support and guidance." - Lesly
Nearly 360 business leaders and youth advocates joined at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel on Thursday, February 4, 2016 for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County's premiere youth recognition event: Youth of the Year. Lesly P., a member of the Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse & Teen Center at Rainier Vista (aka SRV) and a senior at Franklin High School, was named the winner.
"The judges had wonderful candidates to choose from and they all exhibited leadership, strong character and determination," said Calvin L. Lyons, President/CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. "I would like to congratulate Lesly on being named King County's 2016 Youth of the Year. He shines as an example to all Club members."
In total, 9 exceptional teens from Clubs across the county competed for the title. See our profiles of the other 8 nominees. Each candidate was judged on the following: leadership, service, their respective essays, life goals, values, moral character, academic success, poise and public speaking.
Lesly walked away with the winning title and a $2,000 education scholarship. Says 17-year-old Lesly, "The Boys & Girls Club helped me to have hope when it was hard to find any. I was inspired daily to accomplish greater things. The Club accepted me, helped me with my first job and provided support and guidance."
"This young man is hardworking and focused," said Kelvin Washington, SRV Teen Director. "His involvement in Keystone, volunteerism, basketball and mentorship inspired us all."
Lesly will go on to compete in the Washington State Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition on March 30th & 31st with hopes of advancing to the Pacific regional event and then the national competition.
"My hope is for communities to unite without prejudice or emphasis on race and income, and as I continue in this competition, may I be an example to other kids," added Lesly.
A member of the SRV Club for 7 years, Lesly is proud of his youth leadership training and ability to maintain his academic status. He also secured and maintained internships with the Summer Youth Employment Program and the Club Jr. Staff Program. He has completed over 225 hours of volunteer service at the Club.
Youth of the Year 2016 was made possible by Presenting Sponsor, Microsoft. Event sponsors include: Fred Meyer, Macy's, Princess Cruises, Paul & Stacey Ravetta and Walmart.