Last week, four outstanding high school students courageously took to the stage to share their stories, aspirations, and obstacles at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s Youth of the Year celebration. Noah Kelsey was selected as the Club’s 2023-2024 Youth of the Year winner at this event.
Noah, a junior at Appleton North High School, has been a Club member and STAR Scholar for the past four years and describes himself as adaptable, honest, inclusive, and attentive. He is striving to build a brighter future for all those around him. “I intend to make a positive impact on the younger generation and to enable younger students to be progressive versions of themselves.”
Noah speaks about his experience with the Club’s STAR initiative during his Youth of the Year speech. STAR works to build equitable educational opportunities for Black Scholars in the Fox Cities. He shares, “I was lucky enough to make a family through STAR of the Boys & Girls Club. And appreciates how my STAR family has shown me that I can persevere, adapt, and be an involved student.”
As Youth of the Year, Noah hopes to mentor students, help them build goals for themselves, and be someone others can confide in. “I want to be able to educate and give as many students like me a chance to feel strong-minded and confident in their work.”
He is focused on personal growth and has participated in the Paint the City mural initiative. and was even recruited as WHBY’s youngest intern. Noah aspires to be a role model to those around him and dreams of a career in fashion or sales.
More About Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year is a premier recognition program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Club youth. Candidates for Youth of the Year are selected based on their values of leadership, service, academic performance, and healthy lifestyles. This year’s event was held at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
The Youth of the Year process involves a written application with essays, speech and interviews with the Youth of the Year judges, and a final delivery of their speech at the event. Candidates share their stories, vision for America’s youth, and how Club experiences and programs have empowered them to find their voice and achieve success.
Annika McDonald, a senior at Appleton East High School, was selected as this year’s Youth of the Year runner-up. She describes herself as hardworking, resilient, and charismatic and dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Annika, who now works at the Club, shares that she is passionate about supporting and connecting with kids to ensure they feel understood.
As the Youth of the Year winner, Noah receives a $1,000 post-secondary educational scholarship, renewable annually for up to four years. In addition, he will have the opportunity to participate in the state Youth of the Year competition in Madison.