Youth of the Year Dinner

2016 Youth of the Year Dinner

Wednesday - April 27, 2016 - 5:30pm - Tekoa Country Club

Purchase Tickets Here

 Please join us in honoring our 2016 Youth of the Year nominees. The 2016 fine arts exhibit will be on display for viewing and members of our Dance Company will perform. A number of pieces from the art exhibit will be up for silent auction. All proceeds raised from the auction will support art programming at the Club. 

Thank you to our major sponsor, Dunkin Donuts of Westfield! 

The fine and performing arts showcase has been made possible by support from the Westfield Cultural Council, Peoples Bank and the Charles H. Hall Foundation.


The 2016 Nominees:

Carlan Gideon has been a Club member for thirteen years. Graduating from Westfield High School this June, she will be attending either Holyoke Community College or Westfield State University. Carlan has spent 180 hours volunteering at the Club and in the community this past year. An immensely determined person, Carlan is dedicated to her education. Calling it "the key that will open doors for the rest of her life", she is motivated to always find a way to succeed. 

Delilah Hubeny has been a Club member for nine years. She will graduate from Westfield High School in 2018 and plans to attend New York University to pursue a career as a Psychologist. Over the past year, Delilah has volunteered at the Club and in the community for 150 hours. Delilah is a vibrant, uplifting, and ambitious young woman. She strives to bring her smile and positive attitude everywhere she goes, and attacks all challenges and opportunities with enthusiasm. 

Envii Luciano has been a Club member for seven and a half years. She will be graduating from Westfield High School in 2018, and plans to attend UCLA, pursuing a career as a Police Detective. Envii has spent 160 hours volunteering at the Club and in the community this past year. The Boys & Girls Club has helped Envii realize her voice. She now knows that she matters, and that she can be a great leader. Envii always strives to be the best possible student, daughter, and sister.


Isaiah Smith has been a Club member for 6 years. He will be graduating from Westfield High School this June. Following graduation, Isaiah will be joining the National Guard in pursuit of a career with Military Police as well as SWAT. Isaiah has volunteered at the Club and in the community for more than 140 hours this past year. Defined by his overwhelming compassion for others, Isaiah is always a shoulder to lean on, and a resource for anyone who may need him. 

2015 Youth of the Year - Janessa Ayala 
Janessa Ayala has been a Club member for ten years.  She will graduate from Westfield High School in June of 2017, andplans to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island.  Janessa has spent 250 hours volunteering at the Club and in the community this past year. 

At the Club, Janessa participates in programs such as Keystone Elite, Date Smart, SMART Girls, Cooking and Dance.  She loves being at the Club and embraces all opportunities to reach out and meet new friends.  Janessa, with her outgoing nature and ability to make anyone laugh, strives to make everyone she meets a happier person.  She continually inspires younger Club members through her hard work and determination.

One of Janessa’s goals is to enlighten people about the foster care system because her family was affected by it.  With three siblings already, a couple of years ago Janessa’s family took in her three younger cousins as foster siblings.  Her open-mindedness made the best of the situation and has made her a better person and role model at home and at the Club.

History of the Youth of the Year Program 
Since the early 1970's, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield has run a national youth recognition initiative that promotes good moral character, leadership and service qualities in today's youth. The Youth of the Year program is a national youth recognition program that celebrates the Boys & Girls Club experience.
It is a year-round program for youth ages 14 to 18 that promotes and celebrates members' s service to Club; community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; poise and public speaking abilities. It is the cornerstone of the organization's Character & Leadership Development core program area, helping young people focus on personal development attributes needed to successfully transcend into adulthood.

Candidates are chosen from a pool of youth who received recognition throughout the year. Youth of the Year nominees are paired with a Club mentor who guides them through the entire application process. The candidates have to write essays, collect support letters and be interviewed by a panel of local community leaders. Each candidate then prepares a short speech to deliver at the annual Youth of the Year dinner in front of upwards of 200 guests.

The Winner will go on to compete at the State level. If the youth wins, they have the opportunity to expand their personal growth by competing in regional and national level. It is an experience of a lifetime for individuals who are awarded because they are able to proudly represent their own Club aside other clubs around the country.


Past Youth of the Years
Samantha Martin - 2014 (Photos & Story)
Lina Borges - 2013
Katherine Shaughnessy - 2012
Jocelyn Erickson - 2011
Amber Pettell - 2010
Charles DeLaRosa - 2009
Darryll Roberts - 2008
Craig Owen - 2007