The Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year program has celebrated the inspirational journeys of outstanding teens across the nation since 1947. The program recognizes Boys & Girls Clubs members who demonstrate strong leadership and service skills, as well as, academic excellence and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle while fostering a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world. Eligible teens are encouraged to compete for the prestigious Boys & Girls Clubs of America Youth of the Year title through local, state, regional and national competitions.
Recent Pine View School graduate Marguerite Andrich currently holds the Youth of the Year title for both the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and the state of Florida.
Marguerite has been an active participant of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County’s programs since 2015, including SRQVolunteen where she found her passion for volunteering and organized service projects for various nonprofit agencies across Sarasota. She also graduated from the organization’s STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Leadership Training program, which led to serving as a full-voting board member for the Van Wezel Foundation for three terms, interning for The Club’s Teen Programs office and working for change and social justice through The Club’s newly launched Youth Council. While Marguerite gained exceptional leadership skills as a Club member, she also acquired a network of caring mentors and a support system of peers who she says has greatly inspired and empowered her to achieve her goals such as starting her own business, advocating for mental health awareness and earning a perfect ACT score.
On August 24, Marguerite was interviewed by a renowned panel of judges during the Southeast Youth of the Year virtual competition alongside eight other youth representatives vying for the title from various Boys & Girls Club organizations in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.
After the judges’ deliberation, they selected Marguerite and the Georgia Youth of the Year as the two finalists for the regional title. Boys & Girls Clubs of America will announce the winner on September 10, 2020, at the Southeast Youth of the Year Virtual Celebration. The finalist who secures the regional title will receive $20,000 in scholarships and advance to the National Youth of the Year Celebration in October with five winners from the other regions across the country.
The National Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Club member can receive. The national winner will become a role model, ambassador and spokesperson for 4 million Club members across the United States, receive academic scholarships and have opportunities for life-changing experiences such as networking with celebrity alumni, securing internships with national partners, speaking at national conferences and meeting the country’s top leaders and elected officials.
Since 2012, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County has congratulated five of its Club members for being named the Florida Youth of the Year, two Club members for securing the Southeast Youth of the Year title and one Club member for winning the National Youth of the Year honor.