What is Youth of the Year?
Youth of the Year is a Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley premier recognition event that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Club members, age 14-18. The process involves a written application with essays, interview with the Youth of the Year judges the evening before the event and the delivery of their speech at Youth of the Year.
Candidates for Youth of the Year are selected based on their values of leadership, service, academic performance and healthy lifestyles. In their speeches, candidates share their stories, vision for America’s youth, and how their Club experience empowers them to find their voice and achieve success through mentorship and guidance with caring adults.
Winners of state and then regional Youth of the Year competitions advance to the National Youth of the Year competition. The National Youth of the Year represents all Boys & Girls Club youth.
2020-2021 Youth of the Year
Nevaeh Berry has been announced as Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley’s 2020-2021 Youth of the Year winner. Nevaeh is determined to break the mold of what statistics say she is destined to be. Nevaeh has been attending the Club for the past nine years and shares that “Because of the Club, I’m on track to achieving my goals and most importantly I’m reminded every day that my life matters.”
In her speech at the event, Nevaeh spoke openly about her challenges and experiences with racism and that she is tired of being quiet about what matters, and that having the fear of doing everyday things because of the color of her skin, has become her reality. “In these moments of uncertainty, I turn to the Boys & Girls Club. The Club and the staff have always been my safe haven. The Boys & Girls Club was a way to escape reality.”
Nevaeh actively takes part in the Club’s STAR initiative and shares that her STAR Coordinator Miss. Dennetra has been a strong force in her success. She was previously awarded runner-up for the 2019-2020 Youth of the Year.