Olga Fernandez from Scottsdale, the 2011 Arizona Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), was among 10 teens competing to represent the Pacific Region in the Youth of the Year regional competition. Fernandez and her fellow Youth of the Year candidates were honored at a celebration dinner held in Newport Beach, Calif. These outstanding young people were treated to a three-day experience in Orange County which included a trip to Disneyland and $400 in gift cards from jcpenney.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year recognition is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. The Youth of the Year program, founded in 1947, celebrates youth who have overcome enormous odds and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments. These deserving young people are recognized for service to their Club and community, academic performance and contributions to their family.
Though Fernandez was not selected to represent BGCA’s Pacific Region at the national competition in September, she remained positive, saying, “I am so grateful to have received one of the highest honors a Club member can receive.”
Fernandez has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale for the past 10 years and has been involved in a variety of educational and community service programs. Fernandez has made it her responsibility to set an example for younger members and other teens by being a strong leader. She credits Club technology programs like Techathalon, a statewide technology competition for Arizona Club members, and Club Tech, a program that brings technology access and training to kids across the country, for her academic success at school.
Fernandez graduated from Saguaro High School where she maintained a 4.1 GPA. She plans to attend the Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College in the fall and pursue a career in medicine.
Darnisha Victorain, a six-year member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County in Idaho, was named the 2011-12 Pacific Region Youth of the Year. As the Pacific Region Youth of the Year, Victorain receives a total of $11,000 in college scholarships from the Youth of the Year program’s sponsor Tupperware Brands Corporation and an additional $500 jcpenney gift card to help prepare her wardrobe for the National Youth of the Year competition in Washington, D.C. in September. While competing for the national title, Victorain and four other regional winners from across the country will also have a chance to meet with President Barack H. Obama in the White House Oval Office. The 2011-12 National Youth of the Year will receive an additional $50,000 scholarship from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale
Since 1954, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has provided more than 100,000 Northeast Valley youth with a positive, supervised environment to explore the power of their potential. Today we serve 16,000 children and teen through the organization’s nine branches and 12 outreach sites located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Hualapai Indian Community and other local neighborhoods. For more information, visit http://www.bgcs.org/.