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Candidates selected for Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year

Candidates selected for Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year

Boys and Girls Clubs award nominees share stories of pain, hope (copy)

Azariah Avery, 18, a senior at Merrillville High School and member of the Merrillville Boys & Girls Club, accepts the applause after being named the 2019 Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

Candidates have been selected for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana Youth of the Year award.

The event has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier character and leadership program since 1947 and is an opportunity for outstanding club members to be recognized for their accomplishments and potentially earn a scholarship for their post-high school pursuits.

This year’s candidates from Lake County Clubs include Kaymon Armour from Lake Station Boys & Girls Club; Andriana Cobb from the East Chicago Club; Jamarion Evans from the Hammond Club; Marcus Steele from the Gary Club; and Kyle Wroblewski from Cedar Lake Boys & Girls Club. Porter County candidates include Madelyn Frost from Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club; Bailey Ranta from the Duneland Club; and Mike Sarault from South Haven Boys & Girls Club.

Each of the eight candidates is paired with a member of Boys & Girls Clubs’ Professionals Advancing Local Success (PALS) group, who serve as mentors as Club members undergo an extensive process that evaluates academic success, community service and life goals, as well as interview with local judges and deliver speeches.

The Club member named Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will move on to a state competition held on April 13.

Unlike previous years, the 2021 Youth of the Year will be held virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests will be able to participate in the same high-impact experience this event offers, but in the comfort of their own homes.

“This event gives our guests an inside look at our Club and how they really impact the life of a child in an extremely positive way. Our Youth of the Year candidates put a lot of time and effort to be part of this competition, and they build deep friendships with one another along the way,” president and CEO Ryan Smiley said.

“While we have some seasoned candidates returning, we also have four new candidates who our guests will be able to meet and learn more about through our virtual event.”

This year’s event will take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. There is no fee to attend and guests can register online by visiting

Sponsorship opportunities for the event are available. For more information on this year’s Youth of the Year event, please visit or call Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana at 219-764-2582.


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