Youth of the Year 2022 Recap

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, more than 150 Boys & Girls Clubs community members came together – both in person and virtually – to recognize and celebrate the 6 outstanding Youth of the Year candidates from around the county. This year’s candidates were Ellie from Kirkland, Halen from Mercer Island, Logan from North Seattle, Valeria from Rotary, Mario from Smilow Rainier Vista, and Kevin from Wallingford.

Youth of the Year is an annual event that honors and celebrates teens and their accomplishments in leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to healthy living. These amazing young people represent the voice, spirit, and leadership of the next generation – inspiring all youth to lead and to succeed. The teens each did an amazing job. They were passionate, articulate, and interesting. They shared their stories and talked about what the Club means to them.  A heartwarming reminder of what happens in the Clubs each day!

Each year two young people are recognized at the event with the Quincy Robertson Service and Leadership Award and the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Youth of the Year Award.

Valeria from the Rotary Club won the Quincy Robertson Service and Leadership Award! Valeria started attending the Club as a third grader, has served as a Counselor in Training for two summers at the Club, and now volunteers as a tutor and Reading Buddy. The staff at the Rotary Boys & Girls Club describe Valeria as someone who sparks inspiration, and who advocates and uplifts the voices of those who are often unheard.

Kevin from the Wallingford Club received the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Youth of the Year Award! Kevin joined the Wallingford Boys & Girls Club as an 8th grader when he moved to Seattle from Haiti. Kevin serves at the Keystone President for the Wallingford Club, he’s served as a Counselor in Training at the Club, and is a highly engaged and well-rounded high school student. Kevin graduates this June and is planning on attending college in Washington.

Clubs from around the United States also hold their own Youth of the Year celebrations. These events culminate in a national Youth of the Year competition.  As the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County Youth of the Year, Kevin will represent the organization at the Washington State Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year competition in March. From there he will potentially have the opportunity to participate in regional and national competitions. Stay tuned for how you can help cheer Kevin on!

Thank you to our teens, our judges, our guests, and our youth development professionals who support all our outstanding teens!

Congratulations to all our candidates!

A big thank you to Lisa Bontje for beautifully photographing the event. All photo credit goes to Lisa.