Atlanta, GA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 26, 2007–Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announced that Brittny Cantero, a five-year member of the Boys & Girls Club of Wharton, has been named the 2007 Southwest Regional Youth of the Year. Chosen from hundreds of entries, including seven other state finalists, Cantero will now advance to BGCA’s National Youth of the Year competition in Washington, D.C., in September.
Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome. This program was founded 60 years ago through the generosity of the Reader’s Digest Foundation.
“The Reader’s Digest Foundation has been the proud sponsor of the Youth of the Year program since 1947,” said Susan Fraysse Russ, executive director, Reader’s Digest Foundation. “For 60 years, we have had the great honor of saluting amazing teens, like Brittny Cantero, for their dedication to their families, Club and community, and for helping them achieve their academic and career goals.”
Each state Youth of the Year finalist received a $1,000 college scholarship from the Reader’s Digest Foundation, and each regional finalist receives a $10,000 scholarship. The National Youth of the Year is awarded an additional $15,000 scholarship from the foundation and will be installed by President George W. Bush during a ceremony in the Oval Office.
At 18 years old, Cantero has persevered tremendously. She currently works two jobs, one of which is a Junior Staffer at her Boys & Girls Club, where she actively supports staff and programs for the younger kids. Through hard work, determination and a great sense of balance, she earned exemplary grades in high school and other honorable mentions.
In addition to working at her Club, Cantero is also very active in its programs. She is currently president of the newly formed Keystone Club, a teen leadership and character development group that emphasizes community service. She also tutors more than 30 Club members during Power Hour, an after-school homework help program.
Helping her community is close to Cantero’s heart. She has volunteered at local nursing homes, helped host two blood drives and collected toys, food and clothing for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She has also been involved in Habitat for Humanity.
Cantero graduated from Wharton High School in May. There, she was honored as the first Hispanic female valedictorian of her graduating class. Cantero also served as the Spanish Club president and senior class treasurer. She was very active with P.A.L.S (Peer Assistance Leadership Skills) and has earned numerous recognitions, including both the Award of Excellence and Distinguished Honor Roll for all four years of high school. She plans to attend Texas A&M University in hopes of becoming a pediatrician. She is the first in her family to attend college.
“Brittny and all the national Youth of the Year finalists offer proof that Boys & Girls Clubs across the country are fulfilling their mission of inspiring and enabling young people,” said Roxanne Spillett, president, BGCA. “We are thankful to the Reader’s Digest Foundation for their long-time support of our Youth of the Year program and for helping Club members reach their goals.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (http://www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 4.8 million young people, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize leadership development, education and career exploration, financial literacy, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and family outreach. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
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