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Tracy Herrera, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows since the age of 13, heads to Henderson next month to compete for the “State Youth of the Year” title. Tracy was selected as the local Club’s female “Youth of the Year” last fall, the highest distinction for a Boys & Girls Club member, alongside male “Youth of the Year” Alex Gasetoto. Only one of the Club’s two winners may advance to the state competition. Tracy was selected because of her personal history, dedication to the Club’s core values and for her commitment to overcoming adversity to become an honor roll student eligible for more than $20,000 in college scholarships, including $6,000 for her “Youth of the Year” award, waiting for her upon graduation from Sparks High School this spring.
The “Youth of the Year” award recognizes service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Tracy excels in all of these areas despite being born with a disability and having to overcome cultural, social and language barriers. The 17-year-old attends the Nevada “State Youth of the Year” competition March 12-13.
The “Youth of the Year” competition includes teens from across Nevada who speak with a panel of judges individually before participating in a 45-minute roundtable question-and-answer session. Each youth also addresses the panel of judges publicly, giving a three-minute speech on his or her background and “Youth of the Year” qualifications. Upon completion of the “State Youth of the Year” competition, the winner then competes for a chance at becoming the regional champion and, ideally, becomes one of five participants who travels to Washington, D.C. for a chance at winning the “National Youth of the Year” designation. All state, regional and national “Youth of the Year” winners receive college scholarship money ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.
The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows has been home to seven “State Youth of the Year” winners in the last dozen years.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows including volunteer, donation and career opportunities please call 775-331-KIDS (775-331-5437) or visit www.BGCTM.org.
The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows is the leading non-profit youth services agency in northern Nevada. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life for children, ages 0 to 18, in the Truckee Meadows through afterschool, summer and track break programming and services. The Club is committed to creating healthy children, in body and mind, with a sense of competence, usefulness, responsibility, belonging and influence, through diverse programs and community involvement. Founded in 1976, the Club now serves nearly 10,000 children at 18 sites throughout the Truckee Meadows. At all of its sites, the Boys & Girls Club strives to provide kids with positive and productive outlets for their energy with programs such as afterschool tutoring, character and leadership development, healthy lifestyles, athletics and art. And while the Club invests nearly $500 annually into each of its members, memberships cost just $20 per year, providing equal opportunity to all children in the community.
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