Youth of the Year Gala Celebrates NJ Youth Leaders

With nearly 350 individuals in attendance, the 2018 New Jersey Youth of the Year program culminated with the Youth of the Year Gala on June 12, 2018 at Montclair State University. 

The event’s master of ceremonies was Carlos P., 2017 National Youth of the Year.  Guests were welcomed by New Jersey Secretary of State, Tahesha Way, and Dr. Karen Pennington, Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life, Montclair State University.  The high point of the evening was the announcements of Fradely D., a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Vineland, as the 2018 New Jersey Youth of the Year and Victor O., from McGuire Youth Center as the 2018 NJ Military Youth of the Year.  

The New Jersey State Youth of the Year Program is a unique opportunity to celebrate and recognize the achievements of nineteen of New Jersey’s finest young leaders.  Youth of the Year finalists embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles; they exemplify the critical impact of Boys & Girls Clubs on the lives of young people.  Becoming a Youth of the Year, is the highest honor a club member can receive. 

The NJ Youth of the Year program is a six-month journey beginning with a Future Leaders Summit where youth throughout the state attend a full day of leadership training that prepares them for the competition.  Throughout the year, youth work with mentors and coaches to build on their strengths, develop speeches, write essays and hone their public speaking skills.  The final step of the Youth of the Year experience is a full day of interviews with a panel of seven distinguished judges. The judging panel included Barbra Tallarico from Toyota, Marilu Galvez from WABC-TV, Anthony Pami from Robert Half, Sheea Sybblis from Boehringer Ingelheim, Natalie Brathwaite from Fidelity Investments, Chris Tropiano from the BRAM Auto Group and Vaughn McCoy from PSEG.

Thanks to the support of our New Jersey Sponsors, Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey distributed over $50,000 in scholarships to our nineteen finalists with the NJ State Youth of the Year receiving a $10,000 scholarship.   The Youth of the Year program was generously sponsored in New Jersey by Comcast NBCUniversal, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Robert Half, Wakefern Food Corporation, ADP, B&G Foods, BRAM Auto Group, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, PNC, PSEG, Quest Diagnostics, Sobel Family Foundation, Sudler Foundation, Merck, NBA, New York Football Giants, PMC Associates, TD Bank, Wells Fargo, Zoetis, American Pool, Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation, Garden State Community Bank, Gertrude and Michael Hancouski Foundation , Jin Y. Hwang, Esq., Investors Bank, Bill Johnston, Kohl’s, Mazars USA LLP, Neiman Marcus, New Jersey Realtors, NJM Insurance Group, RWJBarnabas Health, Jo Standish, Sheea Sybblis, Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari, Wegmans, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP and Wise Foods. Additionally, both the NJ State winner and NJ Military winners received $5,000 scholarships from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  The National Youth of the Year program is supported by presenting sponsor Disney, as well as signature sponsor Toyota.

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