VALPARAISO | Selected among several local outstanding youth, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County-Valparaiso Unit member, John Sego, was named the 2013 Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Youth of the Year. Sego will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members for the Indiana State Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation. As the 2013 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, 18-year old Sego is recognized for his perseverance, leadership skills and commitment to club and community.
“Throughout John’s life, he has come face to face with obstacles which may cause others to languish. Rather than allowing these difficulties to define his life, John has persevered to become the respected young man he is today,” said Tommy John, program director.
Sego has been a club member for eight years. Throughout his time with the club, he has developed a strong desire for helping others. “Here at the club, there is not a time you will not see me doing something. I love helping out staff members as much as I can,” says Sego. At the club, he learned the basics of working a real job, as well as adult responsibilities in the Teen Enterprise program. As a member of the club’s youth service group, Keystone Club, Sego helped Keystone raise enough money to have an end of the year trip to Indiana Beach.
Sego is a senior at Valparaiso High School and will enlist in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. His goal is to become a Combat Engineer in the Marine Corps.
If Sego wins at the state competition, he will compete for the title of Midwest Region Youth of the Year and an additional $10,000 scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Units in Valparaiso, South Haven and Portage each selected a Youth of the Year of their Unit to compete for the Youth of the Year honor for the organization. Tyler Goodman is the South Haven Unit’s Youth of the Year and Golf Junyanid won Youth of the Year for the Forrest L. “Dusty” Rhode Portage Unit.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Board Member Cathleen Nalli, United Way of Porter County President Sharon Kish and Valparaiso Parks & Recreation Superintendent of Recreation Dan McGuire served as judges for the Youth of the Year competition.
“I was honored to be a judge for the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County's Youth of the Year Award competition. I had no idea what a daunting task I had before me. We (the judges) listened to three impressive speeches from club winners around Porter County. Each of these club members had unique leadership qualities and very personal stories of triumph which were inspiring and heart-warming, to say the least,” said Nalli. “It was not an easy task to select just one winner, as they were all tremendous contestants. Ultimately, the panel proudly chose John Sego to represent our county in the upcoming competition(s). I have no doubt he will rise to the occasion and show everyone what Porter County's finest can do!"