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Teens compete for honor; clubhouse renamed for activist

2/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of the Western Reserve
AKRON — The Boys and Girls Club of the Western Reserve (BGCWR) hosted the Youth of the Year competition Jan. 29. Three local teens, Brian Brown, Maya Lanier and Karlie Tiggs, all of East Akron, competed for this year’s title. Brian, a club member since 2008, was named the 2014 Youth of the Year. 

During the competition, BGCWR also honored former BGCWR Board member Steve Wise, a lifelong member of the Akron community prior to his passing in March 2011. A graduate of Firestone High School, Wise went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Akron. According to BGCWR officials, Wise had a strong passion to help local children in need. To honor his spirit of giving and support of the BGCWR, the Arlington Clubhouse was renamed The Steve Wise Club.

Along with the title of Youth of the Year, Brian received a $1,000 scholarship, made possible by the Dick and Chris Chenoweth Scholarship Fund through the GAR Foundation. Brian will now advance to the state competition. State winners move on to vie for the distinction of one of five regional winners across the country, and ultimately those five winners will contend for the title of National Youth of the Year.

Being named the Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys and Girls Club member can receive, according to organization officials. The national winner receives an additional scholarship up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation, which is awarded in the Oval Office by the President of the United States.

The panel of Youth of the Year judges was comprised of the following community members: James Crutchfield, retired president and publisher at the Akron Beacon Journal; Betty Dalton, former Akron Public Schools Board of Education member; Kim Haws Falasco, director of wealth management and branch manager at Robert W. Baird and Co.; Derrick Hall, regional compliance officer at Wal-Mart; Christine Mayer, president of the GAR Foundation; Betty Rider, BGCWR Board chair; Jonathan Stroup, executive director and senior banker for JP Morgan; and Derran Wimer, executive director for Summit Education Initiative.

The Youth of the Year candidates and judges are shown above.

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