On Monday, May 23, 2016, New Jersey Youth of the Year finalists from across the state converged on the State Capital in Trenton. The youth were honored at a luncheon at the Statehouse. The teens had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by various members of the NJ state legislator including Senator Stephen Sweeney, Senator Sandra Cunningham, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Senator Jim Whelan, Senator Linda Greenstein, Senator Tom Kean, Jr. and Secretary of the Senate, Jennifer McQuaid. The youth had the privilege of sitting in the Senate Chamber while learning how the legislative process works.
Earlier in the day, Club Executives, Board Members and staff met state officials to discuss the important work that Clubs do every day to inspire thousands of New Jersey kids. New Jersey Clubs serve over 70,000 youth each year with life-changing programs including the Youth of the Year. The New Jersey State Youth of the Year Program is a unique opportunity to celebrate and recognize the extraordinary achievements of New Jersey’s finest young leaders. Youth of the Year representatives 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. Clubs were honored to speak with Commissioner Chuck Richman from the Department of
Community Affairs; Mickey Quinn, Sr. Advisor to Assembly Majority Leader and
Kevin Drennan, Executive Director, Senate Majority Office. Additionally Roger Bodman,
Patrick Stewart, and William Maer of Public Strategies Impact provided the group with an overview of current legislative issues.
It was a truly memorable day for Club youth and staff to have the opportunity to share their stories and meet with key State leaders at the Capital.